The Ontario College of Teachers, Ontario’s teaching regulator, applauds new legislation that recognizes teacher professionalism by entrenching the term Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT) in legislation, reduces the size of the incoming College Council, and increases fairness to OCTs when they are not actively teaching.
The government announced its plans in Bill 13, the Supporting People and Businesses Act.
“The wide-ranging legislation recognizes teacher professionalism while addressing crucial elements that will enable the next governing Council to act more efficiently and better support the College’s mandate,” says Paul Boniferro, Transition Supervisory Officer, Ontario College of Teachers. “We applaud the new legislation and will continue to work closely with the government to enhance the provisions as needed.”
“These new and critical changes will remove outdated administrative processes and instead, let us focus on what’s really important: protecting the public interest,” says Dr. Derek Haime, OCT, Registrar and CEO, Ontario College of Teachers. “Moreover, the legislation reinforces teacher professionalism while providing fairer practices for the profession.”
The proposed legislation closes a gap in recognizing teacher professionalism. Like engineers and accountants, or P.Eng. and CPAs, teachers are highly educated and trained professionals. While trademarked in 2009, giving Ontario Certified Teachers – OCTs – the right to title in law confirms only those who meet the high standards for great teaching can use the OCT designation.
The College is undergoing a legislated transition to a new governance structure that will streamline its operations, enabling it to operate more effectively and efficiently.
Proposed legislative amendments provide for fairer treatment of members by providing greater clarity of membership statuses on the public register. For retired members and those who have been suspended for non-payment of fees, a new membership status, “inactive non-practising” will be used to denote their status. The new term removes the stigma of the word suspended, which is typically associated with disciplinary matters.
Clarifying the authority of the Registrar to appoint individuals to the Deputy Registrar position supports effective governance practices and ensures there is proper operational support and clarity of roles.
The Ontario College of Teachers licenses, governs, and regulates the profession of teaching in the public interest. It sets standards of practice and ethical standards, conducts disciplinary hearings, and accredits teacher education programs affecting more than 232,000 members in publicly funded schools and institutions across Ontario. The College is Canada’s largest self-regulatory body.