The Ontario College of Teachers (“OCT”) is an organization designed to regulate the teaching profession in Ontario. The OCT was established under the authority of the Ontario College of Teachers Act with the mandate to regulate the teaching profession so that it conforms to public interest with high ethical and professional standards. The governing council of the OCT is made up of twenty-three (23) members elected by their peers, and fourteen (14) non-members appointed by the Ontario Government.
Individuals who wish to work as teachers in Ontario public schools must be licensed by the OCT and hold a Certificate of Qualification and Registration. In order to be in a position to attain such a certificate and become a member of the OCT, an individual must first complete postsecondary undergraduate degree (or another suitable alternative) as well as a Teacher Education Program (either consecutive or concurrent to the undergraduate degree).
The process for complaints and discipline set out by the OCT indicates that the first step would be to initially air the complaint with the teacher or principal. The next step suggested involves contacting the college via phone – many times a solution could be reached. If no simple solution seems at the ready the OCT then recommends to file a formal complaint using their online complaint form, available on the OCT website. Once a complaint is filed it is considered for a simple resolution at the intake stage. Where there is no simple solution, the matter will progress to the investigation stage. At this stage the complaint can be resolved via dispute resolution and if no such solution is forthcoming the matter comes before the Discipline Committee or the Fitness to Practice Committee for a hearing. If found liable, the Discipline Committee may revoke the license, suspend the license for a term up to twenty-four (24) months, impose limitations or conditions upon the license, impose a fine, fix costs, and impose a reprimand, an admonishment, or counseling. The Fitness to Practice Committee may only order a revocation of the license, suspension of the license for a term not exceeding twenty-four (24) months, or the imposition of limitations or conditions upon the license.
If you are a teacher facing a disciplinary proceeding or have been terminated from your employment due to alleged professional misconduct we urge you to give us a call to discuss your matter immediately. Although teachers are often guaranteed the protection of their union, we may be able to assist you in a disciplinary proceeding or act as your advisors in a labour arbitration or dispute.