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New legislation ensures only Ontario Certified Teachers can use the term OCT

·4 min read

Changes also provide for additional governance efficiencies and operational clarity

TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2021 /CNW/ - The Ontario College of Teachers, Ontario's teaching regulator, is pleased with new legislation that recognizes teacher professionalism by entrenching the professional designation "Ontario Certified Teacher" (OCT) in law.

The legislation also provides for a new membership status for the public register "Inactive/Non-Practising", which will replace the statuses of "Retired" and "Suspended for Non-Payment of Fees." The new term removes the stigma of the word suspended, which is typically associated with disciplinary matters.

Additionally, the legislation reduces the size of the College's incoming Council, allowing for greater efficiencies that better support the College's mandate – to serve and protect the public interest.

"The recognition of teacher professionalism, alongside greater governance efficiencies, adds to what has truly been a transformative year for the College," said Paul Boniferro, Transition Supervisory Officer, Ontario College of Teachers. "The changes from today will have a positive impact on Ontario's education system now and for years to come. Additionally, they will contribute to our emergence as a global model for regulatory governance"

"Ontario Certified Teachers are knowledgeable, dedicated and hardworking professionals, and the new legislation recognizes that," said Dr. Derek Haime, OCT, Registrar and CEO, Ontario College of Teachers. "Additionally, a stronger, more effective governance structure continues to strengthen our ability to fulfill our mandate: supporting student safety and well-being."

OCT: recognizing teaching professionals in good standing
Like engineers (P.Eng) and accountants (CPA), teachers are highly educated and trained professionals. Putting the OCT professional designation into the College's Act confirms that only those who meet the high standards of the profession and maintain their license in good standing can use the OCT designation and teach in the Ontario public school system.

OCT – Inactive / Non-practising: acknowledging professional knowledge and experience
The new legislation also includes a second professional designation, "OCT – Inactive/Non-Practising", which will be used to recognize individuals have specialized teaching knowledge and experience but are no longer active members of the College and cannot teach in the Ontario public school system.

Both designations will be protected in law against misuse.

New membership status – Inactive/Non-Practising
This new membership status, "Inactive/Non-Practising", will replace the currently used terms "retired" and "suspended for non-payment of fees." The new term removes the stigma of the word suspended, which is typically associated with disciplinary matters.

Members who are currently listed as "retired" or "suspended for non-payment of fees" on the public register will see their membership status updated to include the new "OCT – Inactive/Non-practising" designation alongside the "Inactive/Non-Practising" status on January 3, 2022.

The legislation, Bill 13, the Supporting People and Businesses Act received Royal Assent on December 2, 2021 and its amendments to the College's Act are effective as of this date.

Greater efficiency for the College's new and incoming governing body
The College's legislated transition to a new governance structure is nearly complete. The new legislation includes:

  • A reduced Council size to 12 from 37, equally comprised of OCTs and members of the public, will make it more effective for further streamlined decision-making.

  • More flexible panel composition requirements, which allow for three individuals from either the committee or the roster of eligible panellists to serve on panels, including at least one OCT and one member of the public, will allow allegations to be heard and decisions made more quickly and efficiently.

The new Council, committee and roster members will be announced publicly on the College's website December 23, 2021. Terms of office will begin on January 1, 2022. Authority under the Act will transfer from the Transition Supervisory Officer to Council and committees on February 1, 2022.

Operational clarity
Changes in legislation also grant the Registrar authority to appoint individuals as Deputy Registrar, which supports effective governance practices and ensures there is proper operational support and clarity of roles. The Deputy Registrar role was previously appointed by Council.

About the College
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.

SOURCE Ontario College of Teachers

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View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2021/06/c7694.html

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