Professionalism & Transparency
The College is accountable to the public and committed to transparency in the regulation of the teaching profession.
Last year, the College continued to improve transparency for students, parents and teachers by greatly expanding and enhancing existing initiatives and operations.
The College is mandated to communicate with the public on behalf of the teaching profession. Helping you understand who we are and what we do is an important part of serving the public interest.
Launched: Setting the Standard for Great Teaching
To increase public awareness of the College’s role and responsibilities, the College launched its first comprehensive, multi-faceted public awareness initiative last year. Developed in 2013 and executed in 2014, the initiative was created to increase the College’s communication to the public. Our research told us we needed to communicate more because many people were unaware of the Ontario College of Teachers. A 2013 survey of Ontarians showed that only a small minority knew about the College.
Our communications initiative “Setting the Standard for Great Teaching” tells people who we are, how we regulate teaching in Ontario in the public interest and, most importantly, how highly qualified Ontario teachers are.
The College took a three-pronged approach by providing information to Ontarians in the following ways:
- en masse through an extensive bilingual media buy with comprehensive print, radio and online communications
- through high profile third-party influencers such as mommy bloggers, who spoke to their audiences through their online social media properties
- via meaningful, one-on-one engagement at high-traffic public events across the province.
A survey conducted by The Listening Post in late 2014 shows a notable increase in public awareness of the College, where there previously was none. The following numbers are a direct result of the initiative:
- Nearly six in 10 Ontarians (59%) say they are more aware of the College’s role and purpose after hearing the radio ad.
- Respondents are better able to identify the College as the professional regulator for teachers in Ontario (10% in 2014 vs. 4% in 2012).
- Familiarity with the College in 2014 increased slightly from 2012.
While 2014 results show success, the survey also highlighted a need to continue our outreach efforts in 2015. The survey confirmed which of our efforts resonated most strongly with Ontarians. Using this information, the College will be zeroing in on the most effective means of communications and additional areas to focus on.
The initiative’s ongoing communications and engagement with the public will continue to reflect the ethical standards to which all Ontario Certified Teachers aspire — care, trust, respect and integrity.
All creative for the initiative is housed on our website.
Streamlining Investigation, Disciplinary and Reporting Processes
Bill 103, The Protecting Students Act, was introduced by Minister of Education Liz Sandals to the Ontario legislature on September 18, 2013, and ushered in an era of improved transparency and efficiency for students, teachers and parents.
This proposed legislation contained the most significant changes to the Ontario College of Teachers Act since the College was formed in 1997. The amendments reinforced the College’s continuing efforts to streamline its investigation and discipline processes.
The changes were consistent with advice provided to the province by College Council in response to an independent review by former Ontario Chief Justice Patrick LeSage. His report made 49 recommendations, many calling on the College, the government and district school boards to improve reporting and information sharing.
The Act died on the order paper when the legislature was dissolved in the spring of 2014. Despite this, the College has continued to implement the recommendations that did not require legislative changes. For example, in 2014 the College continued to establish procedures to ensure tighter timelines to investigate complaints, schedule hearings, and ensure faster release of committee decisions. Committees received additional resources to provide timelier outcomes, and there is a net increase in the disposition of complaints and matters by all committees.
It is anticipated that new legislation consistent with advice provided to the government by the College in response to an independent review by former Ontario Chief Justice Patrick LeSage will be reintroduced .
Accessing Disciplinary Decisions
You could see more than 725 discipline decisions involving College members over the last 18 years on our website by the end of 2014.
The College also continues to provide public access to disciplinary decisions in other ways:
- Copies of Discipline Committee decisions are available in the College’s Margaret Wilson Library. Members of the public can also request electronic versions of the decisions.
- The College provides full decisions to Quicklaw, one of several professional Canadian legal research services available to service subscribers.
- Summaries of Discipline Committee decisions appear in the College’s official publication Professionally Speaking, as well as on the College’s website.
- The College’s public register, Find a Teacher, also plays an important role in communicating the decisions of our Discipline Committee.
- Where member’s licences have been impacted by a disciplinary hearing, the College provides this information to educational authorities throughout the world.
Enhancing Teacher Education
In 2014 the College took on the leadership role of helping to create and guide the implementation of the enhanced teacher education program at Ontario universities. Working with the Ministry of Education and the faculties of education, we helped shape the enhanced, four-semester program that comes into effect September 1, 2015.
The enhanced program will provide:
- more time for practise teaching (80 days minimum, up from 40)
- greater focus on students’ mental health and well-being, parent engagement and communication, and Special Education among other core elements
- greater attention to diversity in Ontario classrooms and knowledge of the Ontario context, and
- a greater understanding about how to teach with technology.
The new program will equip new teachers for the challenges of the contemporary classroom and helps address the shrinking job market. The surplus of teachers has been growing steadily since 2005. Plus, the College’s annual Transition to Teaching survey shows that new teachers want more practical experience in the classroom.
To ensure all potential and current applicants are aware of this upcoming change, information about the enhanced program was — and continues to be — sent out via email and direct post. Information about the program is also available in a dedicated section of our website.
Reviewing Our Registration Practices
Our ongoing review of registration practices initiated in 2007 ensures that our procedures, information and guidelines are clear and transparent.
To learn more about the College’s commitment to fair registration practices, see the full report on our website.
Pilot Program: Public Presentations
In 2014, the College’s Council approved a one-year program to allow for public presentations at Council meetings and the Annual Meeting of Members. Making information available to the public — and ensuring information flows both ways — is crucial to serving and providing the public interest. The College welcomes your feedback and would like to hear from you. If you have a topic related to our work or activities and would like to speak to Council, you can do so by delivering a public presentation to Council.
Please complete our online form to submit your request to the Chair of Council at least 15 days prior to a scheduled Council meeting.
Once accepted, you will have up to 10 minutes to speak at the beginning of one of Council’s quarterly meetings or at the College’s Annual Meeting of Members. A further 10 minutes will be allocated following the presentation to allow you to respond to any questions from Council members.
Find a Teacher
Find a Teacher was the most viewed section on the College website, with 3.2 million page views in 2014. You can view a register of all College members, including their qualifications, credentials and a notation of every revocation, cancellation and suspension of a Certificate of Qualification.
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on @OCT_OEEO for College news, events, teaching resources and more.
Access us on Facebook
Visit the College’s Facebook page and you can:
- participate in polls
- learn about visiting delegations
- read the latest College news
- learn of College job openings
- get the scoop on events, trends and happenings.
View us on YouTube
Visit the College’s YouTube channel and watch stories on:
- great teachers and how they inspire their students to greatness
- how to register with the College
- what happens during a disciplinary hearing
- our advice to teachers on the use of social media, professional misconduct and student safety
- First Nation, Métis and Inuit education.
Sign up for College news
Sign up to receive our public e-newsletter, The Standard, and learn more about:
- our mandate
- teacher qualifications
- high standards in education
- College reports on trends in education
- education legislation.
College members can subscribe online to the electronic newsletter Your College and You to get the inside edge on College news. It provides early access to new developments in the activities of the College and the teaching profession.
Read our magazine in print or online
Professionally Speaking (Pour parler profession in French), our quarterly magazine for members, provides insight into education trends, best practices for teachers and the governance of the teaching profession. You can subscribe to our magazine or read it free-of-charge online.
Professionally Speaking is one of public education’s largest circulation magazines in North America.
Discover the Data in Annual Reports
The College’s previous annual reports are available on our website and are loaded with information. You can delve into the wide range of statistical information available about Ontario Certified Teachers.
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