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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History of the College

1994

The report of the Royal Commission on Learning, For the Love of Learning, recommended teachers in Ontario regulate their profession.

1996

The government proclaimed the Ontario College of Teachers Act July 5, creating the College, with a mandate to:

  • license teachers in Ontario
  • set and maintain professional standards for the teaching profession
  • implement a disciplinary process
  • accredit teacher education programs.

The legislation established a 31-member Council of 17 elected members of the College and 14 members of the public appointed by the provincial government. The size and makeup were modified in 2006 to 37 Council members - 23 elected members and 14 members of the public.

1997

On May 20, we opened our doors and began handling all public teaching applications in Ontario. Notable firsts included:

  • 165,000 members’ records transferred from the Ministry of Education
  • a public registry of all public school teachers
  • development of the Professional Misconduct Regulation in cooperation with the provincial government
  • a pilot project (through to 2000) to review Ontario’s teacher education programs
  • we predicted a shortfall of teachers, and worked with the Minister’s Task Force on Teacher Recruitment and Renewal, leading to the creation of an additional 1,500 spots in Ontario’s teacher education programs
  • the first issues of the College’s magazine Professionally Speaking and Pour Parler Profession were published
  • we successfully defended the quality of teaching in Ontario, by recommending that non-certified instructors not be put in classrooms, something proposed in the Education Quality Improvement Act.

1998

  • We held our first public disciplinary hearing.
  • We introduced a criminal record check for all applicants.

1999

2000

2001

  • The College launched a five-year study to track teacher experiences, leading to the creation of our annual Transition to Teaching reports and a policy paper, Growing into the Profession.

2002

2003

2004

  • We released Narrowing the Gender Gap: Attracting Men to Teaching, to address the low numbers of male teachers.
  • The Teachers’ Qualifications Review was launched, to review how teachers are prepared to teach, and their continuing education.
  • We partnered with LASI World Skills, Skills for Change and the Ontario Teachers’ Federation to launch the Teach in Ontario partnership, to help immigrant teachers gain certification and find employment as a teacher.

2006

  • The College significantly increased its involvement with Indigenous communities.
  • We updated our Ethical Standards to embody our principles of care, trust, integrity and respect and our registration practices and processes.
  • We streamlined the Ethical Standards and Standards of Practice.
  • Council was expanded by six seats, reserved for classroom teachers.
  • The government amended the Ontario College of Teachers Act, requiring Council members to swear an oath of office, and providing for a Public Interest Committee.

2008

  • The College published the results of a two-year review of our registration practices and processes.
  • The College approved the professional designation Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT), a first for teachers in Canada.

2009

  • The Ontario Labour Mobility Act, 2009 became law, allowing teachers certified in any Canadian jurisdiction to teach elsewhere in Canada without additional training or assessment.
  • Membership grew to more than 225,000.

2010

  • The College published its first Fair Registration Practices Report, which is updated annually.
  • We removed the requirement for one year of teaching experience for certification.
  • We commissioned Patrick LeSage, former Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, and Lynn Mahoney, a former partner at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, to review all our practices and procedures related to our investigations and disciplinary mandate.

2012

  • The LeSage Report made 49 recommendations, more than half of which required additions or amendments to provincial legislation or regulations. The changes were designed to ensure the College:
    • makes information about discipline hearings available sooner
    • reports discipline outcomes faster
    • shares more information with school boards, police and other regulators
    • names all those found guilty of professional misconduct.

Council approved motions to reflect and incorporate the intent of these recommendations.

  • Membership grew to more than 235,000.

2014

  • College developed the Teaching LGBTQ Students Additional Qualification, the first of its kind in North America.

2015

  • As part of the Enhanced Teacher Education Program, teacher education programs were increased from two to four semesters, and an 80-day practicum was included.

2016

  • The government introduced Bill 37, the Protecting Students Act. The act introduced many new requirements related to the College’s disciplinary process, including:
    • a new requirement for mandatory revocation of a member’s certificate if they are found guilty of sexual abuse and prohibited acts of child pornography
    • requiring the publication of certain information about Discipline Committee decisions on the College’s website and in its official publication.

Our Council Chair and Registrar addressed the provincial government’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs in support of proposed amendments recommended by Council, including amendments to further support transparency of the discipline process.

2017

  • We celebrated our 20th anniversary and participated in Doors Open Toronto.
  • We implemented our requirements under the new Protecting Students Act.

2018

  • R. v. Jarvis: in the appeal of a criminal case involving a teacher who was charged with and acquitted of voyeurism in two lower courts, the College intervened before the Supreme Court of Canada, to provide perspective on student privacy and what constitutes acceptable professional conduct for teachers.
  • A policy to adopt gender inclusive language was implemented across the organization.
  • At the request of the Governance Committee, the College commissioned an independent review of our governance structure, from Governance Solutions Inc. The governance report was presented to Council with 37 recommendations.

2019

  • The Safe and Supportive Classrooms Act received royal assent. The legislation:
    • expanded the definition of sexual abuse acts that would result in the mandatory revocation of a member’s license
    • introduced new math competency testing for new teachers
    • made changes to support the College’s governance review.

2020

  • Bill 229, Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020, received royal assent which included groundbreaking changes that enable the College to better protect the interests and wellbeing of Ontario’s students, while modernizing the College’s operations.
  • Legislative amendments enabled the College to further safeguard students through a proactive sexual abuse prevention program and to begin a corporate governance restructuring to enhance efficiencies.
  • College issued video-conferencing guidelines to help teachers transition from in-class to online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • College introduced a therapy and counselling program for students who have been sexually abused by teachers.

2021

  • Governance changes from Bill 229 were proclaimed, which reflect many of the recommendations of the 8th Council. The government changed the College’s election-based governance model to a competency-based selection process. It reduced the size of the incoming Council to a nimbler six members of the profession and six members of the public. The government appointed a Transition Supervisory Officer to oversee the process.
  • College began a one-year transition to a new governance structure.
  • New legislation included new reporting obligations for College members for offences, charges, bail conditions or other restrictions.
  • New legislation recognized teacher professionalism by entrenching the title Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT) in legislation.
  • College released the Professional Advisory on Anti-Black Racism to help OCTs address anti-Black racism in learning environments.
  • As part of its commitment to efficiency, the College commissioned an independent review of its Membership Services department, operations, services and policies.
  • College endorsed the creation of a Temporary Certificate to enable faculty of education students to begin teaching earlier as a partial solution to Ontario’s teaching shortage.

2022

  • College launched the mandatory sexual abuse prevention program for OCTs and applicants. More than 211,094 OCTs and applicants successfully completed the Program.
  • College completed the transfer of governing authority from the Transition Supervisory Officer to its new Council, effective February 1, 2022.
  • Your College and You, the College’s digital member newsletter became the College’s official publication.
  • College continued to ensure College documents posted to oct.ca meet accessibility guidelines, per the Accessibility for Ontarians for Disabilities Act (AODA), for compliance and readability. All content on the College’s website is required to be made accessible to individuals with disabilities.

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

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