Professionalism & Transparency
As the regulator for Ontario’s teaching profession, the Ontario College of Teachers is mandated to safeguard students and to do so with professionalism and transparency.
Professionalism is ensuring Ontario Certified Teachers (OCTs) are qualified, licensed, and have earned the privilege of teaching in Ontario’s publicly funded elementary and secondary schools. It is continuing to do good work, while making improvements before they are needed.
Transparency is being open about the work that we do. It is about making our work available and accessible to the public. Moreover, it is about communicating simply and plainly with our stakeholders and making it easier for them to engage with us.
We infuse professionalism and transparency in all aspects of our work. They support our mission, vision, values and strategic priorities. Here’s what that looked like last year:
Public and Member Participation in Governance
The College has been working to modernize its governance structure since 2018, when it commissioned an independent review to find efficiencies within its governance structure. The review resulted in 37 recommendations, many of which became legislation in early 2021. These changes will enable the College to complete a corporate governance restructuring that will serve as a model for professional self-regulation in Ontario.
The new legislation also means College governance will include equal public and member representation on Council and statutory committees.
Council and committee members will be selected from a diverse group of individuals, including members of the profession, with attributes and competencies to govern the teaching profession in the public interest. This will be achieved through an open and transparent application process.
Furthermore, the changes enabled the College to dispense with costly elections that resulted in low candidate and voter participation.
Professional Advisory: Professional Boundaries
Educating members is a part of our legislated duties and we do so through professional advisories. Our advisories guide and enhance the professional practice of our members. We work closely with members, subject matter experts and education stakeholders to ensure the advice provided is useful and relevant.
In the fall of 2020, the College officially rolled out its latest advisory, Professional Boundaries, with direct promotion to OCTs and a feature story in the College’s quarterly publication, Professionally Speaking. This advisory stresses the importance of maintaining professional boundaries and provides practical advice to Ontario Certified Teachers at any point in their education careers.
Listing Tech Qualifications
Updated legislation introduced in late 2020 officially recognizes the education, work experience and professional competency of Ontario’s technological education teachers.
As a result, the technological qualifications now appear on members’ certificates and in the College’s online public register, Find a Teacher.
The Professional Misconduct regulation, made under the Ontario College of Teachers Act, now includes “making remarks or engaging in behaviours that expose any person or class of persons to hatred on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination under Part I of the Human Rights Code.”
The change is further supported by the College’s commitment to inclusion, diversity and addressing systemic racism. In 2020, the College started the development of an Additional Qualification (AQ) course about anti-Black racism. Internally, College staff have undergone bias and anti-racism awareness training.
Between 1997 and May 2008, sexual abuse was bundled with other forms of abuse in the Professional Misconduct regulation, which meant not all cases resulted in revocation, as disciplinary decisions are always based on the law in place at the time.
Over the years, the College has made numerous recommendations to further strengthen student protection, and in 2020, the government enacted legislation doing just that.
Legislative amendments made to the Ontario College of Teachers Act, enabled the College to retroactively revoke the certificates of individuals who still held teaching certificates, despite being found guilty of an act of professional misconduct consisting of, or including, sexual abuse of a student or a prohibited act involving child pornography.
In 2020, the College concluded 88 Discipline Committee hearings and 12 Fitness to Practise Committee hearings. Disciplinary decisions can be found on our website at oct.ca.
We also continue to provide public access to disciplinary decisions in other ways:
- providing all disciplinary decisions for posting on Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII)
- making copies of Discipline Committee decisions available in the College’s Margaret Wilson Library; members of the public can also request electronic versions of the decisions
- providing full decisions to Quicklaw, one of several professional Canadian legal research services available to service subscribers
- including summaries of Discipline Committee decisions in the College’s official publication, Professionally Speaking, and on the College’s website
- maintaining the online public register, as it also plays an important role in communicating the decisions of our Discipline Committee.
Find a Teacher
Since launching in 2001, Find a Teacher has been the most viewed area on the College website, with more than 3.4 million page views in 2020.
This public register of all OCTs includes details of their qualifications and credentials, and a notation of every revocation, cancellation and suspension of a Certificate of Qualification and Registration.
Follow Us on Twitter
@OCT_OEEO provides information about College news, events, teaching resources and more.
Access Us on Facebook
Our Facebook page enables users to:
- participate in polls
- read the latest College news
- learn about new resources at the Margaret Wilson Library
- learn about College job openings
- hear about events, trends and happenings.
Watch Us on YouTube
Our YouTube channel features information on:
- award-winning teachers and how they inspire their students to greatness
- how to register with us
- what happens during a disciplinary hearing
- our advice to teachers on the use of social media
- professional misconduct and student safety
- Indigenous education.
You can also interact with the College on Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
See Us on Instagram
Our Instagram account highlights our work in pictures and videos.
Discover Us on Pinterest
On Pinterest, the College provides teachers with resources, ranging from inspiring book recommendations to practical classroom tips.
Connect with Us on LinkedIn
On LinkedIn, the College provides updates on our work as well as professional development and career opportunities.
Sign up to receive our public e-newsletter, The Standard, and learn more about:
- our mandate
- teacher qualifications
- how we support high standards in education
- College reports on trends in education
- education legislation.
College members can subscribe to the e-newsletter Your College and You for College news. It provides early access to new developments in the College’s activities and the teaching profession.
Print and Online Versions of our Official Publication
Professionally Speaking, our quarterly publication for members, is one of public education’s largest circulation magazines in North America. It provides insight into education trends, best practices for teachers and the governance of the teaching profession.
The magazine is available by subscription or free online.
Discover the Data in Annual Reports
Our previous annual reports are filled with information and can provide statistical information about Ontario’s certified teachers, and insight into the College’s history and evolution.