101 Bloor Street West
Toronto ON, M5S 0A1
P: 416-961-8800
Toll Free (Canada and U.S.A.): 1-888-534-2222
F: 416-961-8822

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An update regarding the service timelines, clarification regarding our application process and how we’re addressing Ontario’s teacher shortages

July 14 2022

Who we are and what we do

The Ontario College of Teachers, Ontario’s teaching regulator, exists to protect the public interest and Ontario's more than two million students. Our legislated mandate, as outlined in our objects listed in the Ontario College of Teachers Act (1996), includes licensing qualified teachers, accrediting initial and ongoing teacher education programs, and investigating and resolving concerns about our members.

Our commitment to progress and change

On average, the College responds to approximately 80,000 inquiries annually.

Most of them focus on certification and recent regulatory changes, including the Math Proficiency Test, the Sexual Abuse Prevention Program, and Temporary Certificates. These were considerable changes within the last 18 months, and their successful incorporation into our operations required significant work across all College departments.

Gradually returning to normal

The College has been working steadily to alleviate the extended timelines experienced by applicants and Ontario Certified Teachers (OCTs). We recognize the frustration and appreciate everyone’s ongoing patience in this matter.

Our commitment to improvement is ongoing, and we have already achieved demonstrable success by:

  • restructuring our approach to evaluating applications
  • leveraging the use of technology, and
  • increasing staff and redeploying existing staff resources.

This has enabled the College to improve certification timelines based on current volumes. Upon receipt of a complete application, including all documents and applicable fees, the current timelines for different application types are as follows:

  • Ontario applications: All Ontario applications, including those for Temporary Certificates, Transitional Certificates and Certificates of Qualification, are being processed within 30 business days. Between January 1 to June 1, 2022, the College certified 3,030 Ontario graduates. We anticipate that the 2022 Ontario spring graduates will be certified in the coming weeks.
  • Ontario Labour Mobility Act (OLMA) applications: OLMA applicants are being certified between 20 and 30 business days. This timeline is also dependent on applicants submitting a complete application to the College. From January to June 1, 2022, the College certified 166 OLMA applicants. Year-over-year the College certifies an average of 350 OLMA applicants. Fewer than one per cent of OLMA applicants are denied certification annually.
  • Internationally Educated Teacher (IET) applications: Approximately 44 per cent of all IET certification decisions fall within our regulated timeline of providing decisions within 120 days. Longer timelines for some applications can be attributed to difficulty getting complete, accurate and acceptable documents from various jurisdictions. The College has developed strategies to shorten timelines for this group of applicants, and we will continue to implement additional measures where appropriate, to support the licensure of IETs. From January to June 1, 2022, the College certified 280 IETs.

Clarification regarding when applications can be processed

Current applicants are encouraged to review their document status page to ensure all relevant documentation and applicable fees are received.

The College’s legislation stipulates that we cannot begin processing an application until we receive all required documents and applicable fees, regardless of when an applicant first opened their file. This has led to confusion as to how long some applications have actually been in queue.

Addressing the teacher shortage

Ontario’s education system is a collaborative space and addressing the current shortage of teachers requires a collective solution from all stakeholders. The College is committed to being part of the solution. Certification of new teachers is one component.

Data from our report, Transition to Teaching 2021, a survey of early-career Ontario Certified Teachers, also indicates that newly licensed IETs report the highest rate of unemployment at 37 per cent. Meanwhile, first-year Ontario graduates reported finding employment very easily, with only four per cent being unemployed. The report also highlights the following:

  • Fewer Ontario graduates: Graduates from Ontario faculties of education make up the majority of OCTs. Since 2015, the number of graduates from Ontario’s faculties of education were reduced by half, from roughly 10,000 to approximately 5,000-6,000. We can only certify the graduates from Ontario’s teacher education programs who apply for licensure.
  • Qualified members not being hired: Our records indicate that there are more than 70,000 OCTs in Good Standing – many of them internationally educated teachers (IET) – who are not employed by a publicly funded school board. Out of these members, 3,848 have French qualifications and 6,405 have French as a Second Language qualifications.
  • Misconceptions regarding who is qualified to teach: The College has been working with the Ministry of Education to hold presentations that clarify to school boards that all holders of Certificates of Qualification and Registration, including Temporary Certificates and Certificates with conditions, are eligible to be hired as long as they remain in Good Standing.

Again, Ontario’s education system is a shared space, and it is critical for all stakeholders to play a part in alleviating the teacher shortage.

We look forward to continued consultations with all stakeholders on developing solutions to the teacher shortage while maintaining a focus on actions within our mandate that will continue to improve service timelines and meet client volumes.

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

Client Services:

Telephone: 416.961.8800

Toll-Free (Canada and U.S.A.): 1.888.534.2222


All Other Inquiries:

Telephone: 437.880.3000

Toll-Free (Canada and U.S.A.): 1.833.966.5588


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