Statutory guidance

Referral orders

Guidance on how to deal with children on referral orders.

Applies to England and Wales



Whilst ‘Youth Offender Panel’ is the terminology used in legislation, we would recommend that youth justice services use more child appropriate language within practice.

This guidance gives information on:

  • the legislation setting up referral orders
  • youth offender panels and their part in the referral process
  • making the orders in court
  • the role of youth offending teams
  • recruiting representative panels
  • training and supporting panel members

The revised referral order guidance applies from 9 October 2018.

Published 1 December 2012
Last updated 30 October 2018 + show all updates
  1. Welsh version of guidance published.

  2. Guidance updated.

  3. Revised referral order guidance (applies from 13 April 2015) published.

  4. First published.