Professionalism & Transparency
The College is accountable to the public and committed to transparency in the regulation of the teaching profession.
Professionalism and transparency are at the heart of building public trust and respect for the teaching profession.
The College is mandated to communicate with the public. Our work is open and accessible to students, parents and teachers. Helping people understand who we are and what we do is an important part of serving the public interest.
Raising Public Awareness
The College’s public awareness initiative in 2015 built on the comprehensive communications and outreach activities launched in 2014. The campaign was informed by the success of previous earned and paid media strategies, as well as feedback from provincewide focus groups and a public survey.
Survey results were positive, showing a year-over-year increase in familiarity with the College from 2012 to 2015. These results also confirmed which of our efforts resonated most strongly with Ontarians. The radio ads once again proved very successful in reaching a broad public audience, while digital and cinema advertising targeted parents and families.
- An estimated four million Ontarians were exposed to the radio campaign, up by 35 per cent in 2015.
- The 30-second digital ad played on 217 Cineplex screens, reaching over three million moviegoers.
- Subscriptions to the College`s public e-newsletter, The Standard, increased by 100 per cent. in the first nine months.
Using this information, we zeroed in on the College’s most successful communications activities to date. As a result, our wide-ranging activities included outreach to school trustees and parent councils, participation at community events, a substantial blogger presence, and a comprehensive radio, cinema and digital media strategy.
Once again, the College leveraged its original, eye-catching artwork and tagline “Setting the Standard for Great Teaching” to help the public better understand who we are, our role in regulating public education, and why we can all take great pride in Ontario’s highly qualified teaching professionals.
In 2015, the College provided information to Ontarians about the College and its role in the following ways:
- through an extensive bilingual media buy with comprehensive radio and digital communications, as well as cinema ads before popular, family-friendly movies;
- through influential parent and education bloggers, who wrote about the College’s role and how Ontario’s teachers make a difference every day;
- via interactive kiosks and vibrant displays at community events to engage the public and facilitate meaningful dialogue; and
- through extended outreach within the French-language community and with culturally diverse Ontarians.
While the College concluded its paid media buy in 2015, the public awareness initiative will continue to expand the outreach we already do with a greater focus on earned media and other community-based and educational areas.
Professional Advisory: Duty to Report
Professional advisories guide teachers in their day-to-day work and inform their professional judgment and practice. We have a legal duty and an ethical obligation to provide such advice to our members.
Abuse and neglect are realities for some children — children who are students in Ontario public schools. In June, Council approved the Professional Advisory Duty to Report, which supports members’ professional judgment to report to a children’s aid society when they suspect a child is a victim of abuse or neglect.
Developed with input from College Council, College members and staff, education stakeholders, child protection services, and police services, the new advisory provides clear and consistent information for members about what do to when they suspect a child is in need of protection.
The advisory addresses important questions such as: what prompts a duty to report, to whom to report a suspected case of child abuse, and what are the consequences of not reporting. The answers allow teachers to recognize the signs of abuse and neglect, report suspicions immediately, and reflect to ensure that they have done all they can to protect children.
Child protection and the duty to report is a relevant and essential subject for anyone working with children and youth. In order to raise awareness and encourage dialogue about breaking down barriers to reporting, the College hosted events in six Ontario communities that brought together representatives from local child protection organizations and police services, First Nations agencies, education stakeholders, parents and teaching professionals.
The advisory was mailed to all 243,889 members via the magazine Professionally Speaking/ Pour parler profession, and is available on the College website.
Accessing Disciplinary Decisions
By the end of 2015, College members and members of the public will have had access on our website to more than 700 discipline decisions involving College members over the last 19 years.
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; and
- where members' licences have been impacted by a disciplinary hearing, the College provides this information to educational authorities throughout the world.
Enhancing Teacher Education
In 2013, the College began working with the Ministry of Education and faculties of education to introduce the Enhanced Teacher Education Program. This new program came into effect on September 1, 2015, and consists of four academic semesters, a minimum of 80 days of practise teaching, and mandatory core content with greater attention to mental health, diversity, Special Education and technology in the classroom. This new program will help equip new teachers for the challenges of the contemporary classroom.
The introduction of the new program also necessitated changes to the College’s certification requirements. New applicants who meet the new program requirements are eligible for certification without conditions. Applicants who do not meet the new requirements, but completed a one-year teacher education program, may be eligible for certification with conditions. These conditions are “complementary course conditions” and allow the applicant to make up the duration gap with the new program.
In order to inform applicants, potential applicants and stakeholders about the impact of these changes, the College undertook a significant communications strategy, which included:
- communications via news items and FAQs on the College website, memorandums to stakeholders and faculties of education, notifications within standard College documentation and registration;
- a new tool embedded in the online application to help all applicants determine how the new certification requirements may apply to them;
- training for frontline staff to help them provide information and advice to phone, email and walk-in clients; and
- individualized and automatically timed correspondence to new applicants and recently denied applicants to advise and remind them of the impending changes and deadlines for certification.
Accreditation: Supporting Quality Teacher Education
The College's Accreditation Committee ensures the quality of initial teacher education programs in Ontario through the regular review and accreditation of these programs. In addition to supporting the rollout of the Enhanced Teacher Education Program, the committee also implemented the following changes, improvements and decisions in 2015:
- updated the Pre-Service Accreditation Handbook and the Accreditation Panel Member Guide to reflect regulatory changes and enhancements made
- amended the Accreditation Regulation detailing changes to the size and composition of accreditation panels to improve the review process
- made enhancements to the Accreditation Regulation, which now enables a new program option that builds on existing Ontario models
- removed all conditions from the program at Nipissing University
- approved a change to the program at Brock University
- revoked accreditation of programs at Lakehead University and Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (as requested by the faculties of education)
- elected a new committee Chair and Vice-Chair
- trained 22 participants, including members of the Accreditation Committee, the profession and those with faculty of education or accreditation experience, to serve on accreditation panels over the next three years.
Reviewing College Registration Practices
Our ongoing review of registration practices initiated in 2007 ensures that our procedures, information and guidelines are clear.
The College continued its work on a multi-year accessibility plan to ensure that it complies with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act. The College set up a working group to implement the changes necessary to comply with the Act. In 2015, members of the working group met with representatives from the Accessibility Directorate of the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment to provide updates on their progress.
In late 2015, the College launched two new interactive, online tools to help internationally educated teachers better understand the requirements for certification in Ontario. The College’s online Applicant Eligibility Assessment questionnaire and two new videos — Applying to the College and Evaluating your Application — provide information on certification requirements, required documentation and language proficiency. These tools will help potential applicants from outside of Canada prepare to apply for College membership.
Learn more about the College’s commitment to fair registration practices.
Pilot Program: Public Presentations
Between June 2014 and March 2015, College Council approved a one-year program to allow for public presentations at Council meetings and the Annual Meeting of Members. Over the course of this first year, the College received seven requests for public presentations and approved four. Building on this momentum, Council extended the program for another two years until June 2017.
The College welcomes public feedback on topics related to the College’s work or activities. To make a public presentation to Council, complete our online form to submit a request to the Chair of Council at least 15 days prior to a scheduled Council meeting.
Find a Teacher
Find a Teacher was the most viewed section on the College website, with 3.5 million page views in 2015. Our public register of all College members includes details about qualifications and credentials, and a notation of every revocation, cancellation and suspension of a Certificate of Qualification.
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College members can subscribe online to the electronic newsletter Your College and You to get the inside scoop 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 award-winning magazine for members, provides insight into education trends, best practices for teachers and the governance of the teaching profession. The magazine is available by subscription or 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. Explore a wide range of statistical information available about Ontario Certified Teachers.
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