Professionalism & Transparency

The College regulates the teaching profession on behalf of all Ontarians. We are accountable to the public and are committed to professionalism and transparency.

Being professional means maintaining and growing public trust in the teaching profession. It also means ensuring Ontario’s teachers meet the standards of practice, ethical standards and are qualified to teach.

Being transparent means our work is open and accessible to the public. It means making information easy to understand and available. It also means having conversations with the public to increase awareness of who we are and what we do.

Professionalism and transparency go hand in hand and are critical to growing the public’s confidence in the teaching profession and its understanding of our role in education.

A student’s desk with a stack of books on it.

Implementing New Legislation

Last year, we implemented changes from the Protecting Students Act, which passed in December 2016. Our work included:

  • making bylaw changes that made the public register more transparent, including placing a notation on a member’s public register page if a matter is referred to the Discipline Committee;
  • stipulating timelines for employers to provide additional information to the College as part of an employer report;
  • expediting cases where a member has been found guilty of a significant crime. The Investigation Committee can — with the member’s agreement — refer the matter to the Discipline Committee and/or the expedited criminal referral to the Discipline Committee; and
  • issuing mandatory penalties as part of the amendments for acts of professional misconduct involving the sexual abuse of a student.

Information about the changes were made available on our website and also sent to the public via our e-newsletter, The Standard. Our members received additional communications through our magazine Professionally Speaking and the Your College and You e-newsletter.

Sustained Awareness and Continued Engagement

The College commissions an annual survey to track public understanding of the College. Results from 2017 show awareness and knowledge of the College’s role and work remains steady. For example, 75 per cent of respondents said that the College sets the standards of practice for teachers, compared to 76 per cent in 2016. Eighty per cent identified the College as responsible for issuing, suspending or cancelling teaching licences, compared to 79 per cent a year earlier.

We continued to build on the public awareness initiative launched in 2014. We attended events, engaged with the public and had meaningful conversations.

We continued to communicate with parents and the broader community by distributing our Quiz for Parents brochure (which includes information on who we are and what we do) and writing articles in our various publications.

We also increased outreach through our social media properties, including Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

An empty classroom.

Professional Advisories

The College educates members as part of its legislated duties. We issue and update professional advisories to help meet that expectation. Our goal is to guide and enhance the professional practice of our members. We work closely with members, subject matter experts and stakeholders to develop our advisories. To generate awareness of them, we plan and execute comprehensive rollout strategies to inform members and to show the public that teachers are committed to their professionalism.

Last year, the College revised its professional advisory on the Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media. While we encourage the use of electronic communications and social media and learning, we also want to help teachers avoid crossing professional boundaries and potential pitfalls. The updates provide additional examples of the types of incidents we are seeing in professional misconduct decisions and how to minimize risk.

We also issued a new professional advisory, Responding to the Bullying of Students. We defined bullying, provided statistics on bullying and its characteristics, outlined legal and ethical considerations, as well as disciplinary outcomes. We also advised members to intervene early, provide support, disclose bullying and review existing protocols.

Continued Transparency

By the end of 2017, College members and members of the public will have had access to more than 700 discipline decisions on our website involving College members over the past 20 years.

The College also continues to provide public access to disciplinary decisions in other ways:

  • The College provides all disciplinary decisions for posting on Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII).
  • 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, and on the College’s website.
  • The public register, Find a Teacher, also plays an important role in communicating the decisions of our Discipline Committee, as decisions are posted online.
  • Where a member’s licence has been impacted by a disciplinary hearing, the College provides this information to international educational authorities.

A box of school supplies in a classroom.

Reviewing College Registration Practices

The College continues to review its registration practices on an annual basis.

Our Applicant Eligibility Assessment Tool provides potential applicants with general information about their qualifications. Our registration videos, available on our website, guide applicants through the online application process.

We also streamlined our Registration Appeal Committee processes, making them clearer and easier to understand.

Finally, we collaborated with the Ministry of Education to clarify language in the Teachers’ Qualifications Regulation 176/10 regarding requirements for those who hold or previously held certification by a teacher regulatory authority outside of Canada.

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.

Find a Teacher

Find a Teacher was the most viewed section on the College website, with 8.9 million page views in 2017. 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 and Registration.

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Visit our Facebook page to:

  • participate in polls;
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  • hear about events, trends and happenings.

View Us on YouTube

Visit the College’s YouTube channel and watch stories on:

  • award-winning 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; and
  • Indigenous education.

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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; and
  • education legislation.

College members can subscribe to the e-newsletter Your College and You to stay up-to-date on College news. It provides early access to new developments in the College’s activities and the teaching profession.

Read Our Magazine in Print or Online

Professionally Speaking, our quarterly 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 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.