101 Bloor Street West
Toronto ON, M5S 0A1
P: 416-961-8800
Toll Free (Ontario Only): 1-888-534-2222
F: 416-961-8822
info@oct.ca

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2022 Annual Meeting of Members – Questions & Answers

Attendance

  • The 2022 Annual Meeting of Members took place on Wednesday, September 28 and was viewed by 69 people online (49 English, 8 French). These numbers reflect the total number of people who were on either language channel at any point during the event.

The questions

  • All references to the Ontario College of Teachers using the OCT acronym have been updated to read, “the College,” or “the Ontario College of Teachers.” This is done to distinguish between the Ontario College of Teachers and Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT).
  • We do our best to respond to all questions. However, we have removed questions that are purposefully repetitive, nonsensical, derogatory, defamatory, threatening, discriminatory or hateful.
  • We have also removed personal information from all questions / comments received.
  • Beyond this, all questions are unedited and posted as received, including typographical and grammatical errors.

All questions were in response to this solicitation: Do you have any questions about governance, operations or the financial statements of the College?

Certification and services

What remedies will the College provide to its members for its failure in providing fundamental services required of it by legislation (updating member’s certification) over the last many months? How will the College ensure it can come into legislative compliance and provide these services now and in the future?

The College acknowledges service and certification delays that members and applicants have experienced. Over the past 12 months, we have dedicated significant resources to solving these issues and have achieved considerable gains. The College submitted a proposed action plan to Council that details a cost-effective and sustainable approach that would solidify and build upon those gains.

I landed in Canada as a permanent resident from India last month and I want a College certificate. What is my qualification criteria?

We have received several questions from internationally educated teachers about how they can apply for College certification.

You can learn more about applying to the College as an internationally educated teacher, including advice specific to individual countries, by clicking Becoming A Teacher on the College website at oct.ca.

I submitted my document and was trying to find out whether the document had been received and no respond was received. My university posted it and was trying to find out if the document had been received and up till now I'm left in darkness. That's my question. Thank you

You can monitor the status of your application, including updates on required documentation, by signing into your applicant status page on the College website. Please note that Client Services staff have access to the same information that is in your profile.

Would the College consider opening locations in suburbs like Mississauga and Markham, where applicants can submit their applications and get further information. This would promote employment to retired teachers and newcomers who may have trouble reaching the head office.

The College’s primary source of revenue is through the annual membership fee. As such, we monitor our expenditures carefully, and alternative office locations are not within the scope of our current budget.

The entire application process can be completed online and without visiting the College office. Documents can be submitted to the College digitally or mailed as hard copies to our office at 101 Bloor Street West in Toronto. You can also deposit documents in-person by using the dropbox located behind our office.

Any member or applicant who needs additional assistance can contact the College’s Membership Services department by emailing info@oct.ca or by phone at 416.961.8800 or 1.888.534.2222. That number is toll-free in Ontario only.

The College does not have jurisdiction relating to employer responsibilities such as employment opportunities, supply lists and assignment of duties.

How can the College make the application process faster? Does international application processing time the same as local applicants?

We urge all applicants to begin the application process as soon as possible. We do not need to receive all documents at the same time. However, by law we cannot begin processing an application until all required documents and applicable fees have been received by the College.

While timelines for individual applications vary, our target timeline for processing complete Ontario applications is 30 days and our target for processing complete applications from internationally educated teachers is 120 days.

I've been a teacher with a private school for more than six years and have taught abroad, as well. I understand there is a teacher shortage in most areas of Ontario. Are there any programs that could be offered for experienced teachers to help them fill the teacher gap without having to go through the supply list?

You must be a certified member in good standing with the College to be eligible to teach in Ontario’s publicly funded school system. All College certificates, including Temporary Certificates and Certificates with Conditions, are equal.

Hiring decisions are outside of the College’s mandate as Ontario’s teaching regulator. Questions around employment are best directed to school boards.

How does the College review completed evaluations from international or interprovincial bodies if there is an error made in the qualifications provided?

There is no universal answer for this question since the details of individual cases can vary. However, our Membership Services team is available to assist applicants from all jurisdictions that may require additional help or guidance with the application process.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak. Does having the status of member of the Ontario College of Teachers give us the ability to work throughout Canada or just in the province of Ontario?

Certification by the College only enables you to teach in Ontario’s publicly funded school system. However, many jurisdictions will recognize the qualifications and training that College certification attests to. We recommend you get in contact with the regulator or Ministry of Education in the jurisdiction where you would like to teach.

About the College, governance and operations

Are permanent residents eligible for OSAP. Is College enrolment for funded by OSAP?

The College is Ontario’s teaching regulator with a mandate to protect the public interest by certifying qualified teachers and accrediting teacher education programs.

We do not offer our own pre-service teacher education courses. A list of accredited teacher education programs can be found on our website.

Is there any scholarship program to study in this College?

While the College is not a course provider, we do offer several scholarships to eligible teacher candidates in Ontario. You can learn more about eligibility and how to apply on our website.

What services and resources does the College offers to teachers applying outside Ontario regarding out-of-Ontario license application?

Ontario Certified Teachers seeking certification or licensure outside of Ontario should contact that jurisdiction’s licensing body, such as a Ministry of Education, for more information about their application process. In many cases, a Statement of Professional Standing will be required. They can be ordered via the E-Services portal on our website.

What are the timeframe, eligibility, and process for new graduates with temporary certificates to obtain a permanent College certificate?

Temporary Certificates are automatically converted to General Certificates of Qualification and Registration when the College receives proof that the certificate’s holder has completed their teacher education program. This proof must be sent directly to the College by the certificate holder’s faculty of education or other issuing institution. The certificate holder is responsible for making this request to their issuing institution.

We must also receive proof before the Temporary Certificate expires.

In order to keep my membership in good standing, do I need to take the Sexual Abuse Prevention Program? What is the deadline and how to get it? Currently I am not actively teaching in any program.

Members do not need to complete the Sexual Abuse Prevention Program to keep their membership in good standing. The deadline to complete the Program was Sept. 15. If you have yet to complete it, your public register page identifies the Program as “Incomplete.”

Members can access the Program by signing into the Members area on the College’s website.

I am a former governor of the Ontario College of Teachers. Needless to say, I completely disagree with the governor appointment process. The government decided, after input, that the lack of teacher interest in elective governance warranted change. The onus should have been on the College to promote elective representation to the members. Now we do not know who 'selects' whom and why to govern this profession.

The Selection and Nominating Subcommittee is responsible for reviewing applications from individuals who wish to serve on Council, committees, or rosters. Their recommendations are then approved by Council. These recommendations are guided by a competency matrix that can be found on the College website at oct.ca.

What was the rationale for early dissolution of previous Council? Elimination of the six months remaining in Council's term appears to have substantially delayed many processes under its mandate, such as Investigations and Hearings, due to the specialized training required for service on such committees. The dissolution date was a surprise to Council, therefore transitions were not planned. Please provide comparative timelines for Investigations and Hearings pre- and post-dissolution.

The timeline for that Council dissolution was in fact later than anticipated, and those who were elected and appointed to the eighth Council knew they would be serving a shortened term.

When it comes to Investigations & Hearings, the new governance model has delivered on the efficiency that was promised. The unit held more than 140 hearings in 2021, reducing the hearings queue from more than 300 matters waiting to be heard to about 100. This is an unprecedented reduction in volume.

When will there be a review of the number of non-teacher members of the executive? Will this review involve any consultation with actual teachers in good standing? Also, will there be a review of the fact that members no longer go through a voting process?

There are several publicly available reviews that affirm the effectiveness of the College’s new governance model, including a governance review of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers that was conducted by top consultants Harry Cayton and Deanna Williams.

The new structure also aligns with the modernized principles of Right Touch Regulation, which was recently introduced by the U.K.’s Professional Standards Authority.

As a visible minority who's completing my PhD in education, I would like to get involved with any possible work that the College is engaged with that addresses barriers/challenges faced by new immigrant students and their families to the school environment.

The best way to become involved is for qualified members of the public and members of the profession to apply for a position on Council, committees, and rosters. More information can be found on the College website.

Annual Membership Fee

Is there a need for a downtown College office location in a post COVID world considering the high cost of real estate in downtown Toronto?

The College recently commissioned a thorough review of office-related expenditures, and it was determined that staying in this location is the most cost-effective of current options. However, we will continue to carefully examine office space requirements as the College adapts to new hybrid work arrangements.

I am a retired teacher who maintains membership. What services are specific for me? Why is my fee the same as members working?

All College members pay the same annual membership fee. Likewise, all College members have access to services that are funded by the revenue it provides.

When should we pay the annual membership fee?

Your Annual Membership Fee is due on January 1 of each year, and you have until April 15 to pay it.

Is raising the member fees going to be occurring again in the near future?

The Annual Membership Fee is set each year as part of Council’s yearly consideration and approval of the College’s budget. The 2023 budget, including any changes to the AMF, will be considered at Council’s meeting on December 8.

Investigations & Hearings

Why are teachers with a history of mistreating staff and students still allowed to teach? What does it take to get them removed from a school board or lose their license?

The College takes concerns about members very seriously. Provincial legislation requires employers to report concerns about professional misconduct, including mistreatment of students, to the College. This duty to report is the College’s primary source of complaints and concerns. Members of the public and members of the profession who wish to file a complaint about an Ontario Certified Teacher are encouraged to contact the College’s Investigations & Hearing Unit. You can find more information about the disciplinary process on our website at oct.ca.

Outside of Mandate

I would like to know if supply pay could be increased. When a supply has to travel to other regions, fuel economy is not compatible.

Any questions about salary or employment are outside of our mandate and best directed to school boards.

What are we doing to prepare students for the impacts of climate change?

Any questions about curriculum are outside of our mandate and best directed to the Ministry of Education.

101 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON, M5S 0A1

Client Services:

Telephone: 416-961-8800

Toll-Free (Ontario Only): 1-888-534-2222

info@oct.ca

All Other Inquiries:

Telephone: 437-880-3000

Toll-Free (Ontario Only): 1-833-966-5588

info@oct.ca

© 2022 Ontario College of Teachers

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