Steps in a Restorative Process

There are several steps in the restorative process, beginning with the referral and ending with a follow-up or exit meeting. This process can range from a few days, to a few weeks, depending upon the number of people involved. 

1. Referral: Students, faculty, staff, or other community members may refer a case to OSARP. This case can be the result of an actual student conduct violation as outlined in the handbook, or can be the result of a conflict or harm created that is not in direct violation of the student conduct code.

Types of Referrals:

      • Self-referral
      • Sanctioned referral
      • Campus or Community referral

To refer a case to restorative practices, please call our office at 540-568-6218.

2. Pre-Conference (Intake Meeting): After the referral, all available and relevant participants meet either together or individually with a Restorative Practices Case Coordinator in OSARP. This is a very important step in the process because it allows us to hear everyone’s perspective and story regarding the conflict or situation. The Restorative Practices Case Coordinators holds the right to suspend the process if they feel it is not safe or healthy for any of the participants involved. During this meeting we ask questions, like “What happened? Who was harmed? What were the impacts? What needs to happen to make things right?

3. Assign Restorative Outcomes: Based on the information provided at the pre-conference, a restorative plan of action is developed and the best approach to address the situation is recommended. See our approaches here.

4. Facilitate Outcomes: A Restorative Practices Facilitator is assigned to the case, and will conduct the process. This could involve a face-to-face approach, written apology letter, or alternative outcome. See our approaches for a more detailed understanding of processes.

5. Monitoring the Completion of Outcomes: If applicable, the participants may be required to take action steps to address the situation and/or to repair any harms created. 

6. Evaluation and Feedback: We want to continually improve our programs. Participants will be asked to complete an evaluation to help us best serve our community.


Sanctioned referrals are cases that are conducted through our formal accountability process. Students who are sanctioned to a restorative process and outcome are required to complete all steps of the Restorative Process unless otherwise advised by the Restorative Practices Case Coordinator.

Self-referred cases and some other referrals are typically voluntary. Participants may choose not to participate or withdraw their participation at any time.

The Restorative Practices Case Coordinators and Facilitators also hold the right to suspend the process if they feel it is not safe or healthy for any of the participants involved.


Details of the restorative process are kept confidential by OSARP staff members and volunteers to the extent permissible by law, except for a brief report from the facilitator to any referring party and the appropriate administrator(s) that an agreement has been signed by the parties. The facilitator will also report to the above parties if an impasse is reached and no agreement is forthcoming. This permits further exploration of other options for resolution of the conflict. However, if a threat to the health, safety or security of any member of the university community becomes a concern to the facilitator, they will inform the parties that appropriate authorities must be notified. 

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