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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COVID-19: Information, Resources and FAQs

November 29 2021

The safety of our members, staff and visitors is our top priority during these challenging times.

News

The College continues its work virtually, while the physical office remains closed to limit the spread of COVID-19

The safety of our members, staff and visitors is our top priority, which is why our physical office remains closed.

The College continues to conduct business virtually, including processing applications, as quickly as possible, although with some delays.

Our contact centre is open virtually to assist you from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, at 416.961.8800 (toll-free in Ontario at 1.888.534.2222).

In addition, our social media team is active and is responding during this same period on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Linkedin and Pinterest.

Our e-Services, online application form and other online services continue to be available, and you can still send mail to our attention.

As well, our Council and committees continue to meet, though meetings are being held virtually.

We have taken these measures to limit the transmission of COVID-19 in compliance with the prevention measures outlined by the federal, provincial and municipal governments.

To further assist you, the following links to a variety of information and resources are provided for your reference:

Messages to Members & Applicants
College Resources
Additional Resources

FAQs

Business / operations

Is the College still open?

Yes, our online services and call centre remain open as our staff are working remotely.

We will reassess this as the situation with COVID-19 continues to unfold and provide updates as soon as possible.

Is the College’s work being delayed?

Yes. While our staff are working remotely, our processes and timelines are delayed.

We will provide more information as the situation continues to evolve. Please continue to check this page for updates. Thank you for your patience.

Are you accepting electronic copies of documents in place of originals?
  • We are receiving and processing mail, so wherever possible, institutions should continue to send their documents.
  • Any document received electronically will be verified through the issuing institution.
  • The College has pre-established mechanisms to receive electronic documents from a number of institutions (OUAC, National Student Clearing house, Parchment, My eQuals, TOEFL, IELTS, regulatory authorities and academic institutions and will continue to contact institutions to arrange for secure transfer of documents wherever possible.

Criminal record checks

The College understands that some police departments have recently made changes to their process to issue criminal record checks due to the situation with COVID-19. As a result, we are now accepting Criminal Record Checks (CRC) in either original (hard copy) or electronic/digital form.

The submission and criteria differ slightly for each one:

  • If you have been issued an original (paper) CRC by a police department within Canada, you can send it to The Ontario College of Teachers, Membership Services, 101 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON, M5S 0A1. Once received, we will review it and be in touch if we need more information.
  • If you have been issued an electronic/digital criminal record check by a police department within Canada, you can send it to info@oct.ca. Once received, we will review it and be in touch if we need more information.

Please contact your local police department for more information on how to obtain your CRC.

Why can’t you accept all documents electronically?

The College must be able to determine if these documents were sent directly from the issuing institution in order to confirm the authenticity and accuracy of the document received.

Here’s what you can do online Applicants Members
See your application status
Get the most up-to-date information on your application, including which documents have been processed. The information listed here is in real-time and the same as what our Client Services team sees. 
X  
Upload documents
You can upload the following pertinent documents to your file: Criminal record check, proof of identity, teaching certificates, addendums and name change. 
X X
Update your personal information
Keep your personal information current, including your address, phone number, and email. 
X X
Provide your employer information
Changed employers? Update your information online
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Submit requests
Make the following requests electronically via E-Services, including: Release of Personal Information and the Statement of Professional Standing. 
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Read our FAQs
The information you are looking for may already be online and accessible quickly.
X X
Why are you closing the office?

We are closing our offices for the health and safety of our employees, Council members and the public. This is in line with the prevention measures outline by the federal, provincial and municipal governments.

What are you still doing?

All of our online services, including E-Services and our online application continue to be available. We continue to review, evaluate and process applications.

As well, our Client Services team is available to take members’ calls.

Can I come in and pay my annual membership fee?

No. Our physical offices remaine closed, but our staff are working remotely. Our other payment options are still available, including:

  • Web/telephone banking. Add the Ontario College of Teachers as a payee to your bill payment listing with your financial institution. The payment number is under your College registration number. Payment numbers can also be accessed online through our Members’ area. Please allow up to 5 business days for payment processing.
  • Phone with a credit card, Visa debit or MasterCard debit card by calling: 416.961.8800 (1.888.534.2222 toll-free in Ontario only) and accessing our automated payment system, which is available 24/7.
When can I come in again?

Our physical offices remain closed, but our staff are working remotely. We will reassess this as the situation with COVID-19 continues to unfold and provide updates as soon as possible.

What are your hours of operation?

Our Client Services team are available by phone from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. Please call us at 416.961.8800 or toll-free (Ontario only): 1.888.534.2222.

What if I need to contact you?

Please call us at 416.961.8800 or toll-free (Ontario Only): 1.888.534.2222. You can also reach us online.

Please note that our wait times are longer than normal and we respond to all inquiries (including emails and documents sent) in priority sequence. We ask that you refrain from sending follow-ups emails and documents as this additional correspondence may restart your position in the queue.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through our service delays.

Certification

Will my certification be delayed?

We are doing our best to ensure this does not happen.

While our staff are working remotely, our processes and timelines may be delayed. We are working hard to resolve these delays as soon as possible and regret any inconvenience this has caused.

The College is processing any mail received at the College and is working with institutions to arrange for a secure transfer of documents in situations where an institution may be unable to issue and mail official documents.

Criminal record checks

The College understands that some police departments have recently made changes to their process to issue criminal record checks due to the situation with COVID-19. As a result, we are now accepting Criminal Record Checks (CRC) in either original (hard copy) or electronic/digital form.

The submission and criteria differ slightly for each one:

  • If you have been issued an original (paper) CRC by a police department within Canada, you can send it to The Ontario College of Teachers, Membership Services, 101 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON, M5S 0A1. Once received, we will review it and be in touch if we need more information.
  • If you have been issued an electronic/digital criminal record check by a police department within Canada, you can send it to info@oct.ca. Once received, we will review it and be in touch if we need more information.

Please contact your local police department for more information on how to obtain your CRC.

We will provide more information as the situation continues to evolve. Please continue to check this page for updates.

Is the College certifying anyone right now?

Yes, we are continuing to certify teachers, provided we have received complete applications, including all applicable fees and documents.

Are applications being delayed because of COVID-19?

We are doing our best to ensure this does not happen.

While our staff are working remotely, our processes and timelines are delayed. This is due to a number of reasons, for example:

  • other organizations not being able to provide documents at this time;
  • delays in mail delivery and processing due to government health and safety guidelines.

We are working hard to resolve these delays as soon as possible and regret any inconvenience this has caused.

We will provide more information as the situation continues to evolve. Please continue to check this page for updates.

How are you evaluating documents if the College’s staff are working remotely?

We are receiving mail from Canada Post on an intermittent basis. All mail is then opened and routed to the appropriate department for appropriate action.

Please note that while our staff are working remotely, our processes and timelines are delayed due to COVID-19.

Practicum

Is there an exemption for the practicum requirement?

The exemption applies to applicants who:

  • are enrolled in a program of professional education at an Ontario faculty of education on, or after, March 17, 2020;
  • have successfully completed a portion of their practicum;
  • are unable to complete the remaining practicum solely because of COVID-19 related school closures;
  • complete all other program of professional education components by December 31, 2020; and
  • meet all other applicable certification requirements and are certified by December 30, 2023.

If Ontario applicants are not able to qualify for the exemption, they must successfully complete their entire practicum requirement and meet all applicable certification requirements in order to become certified.

Math Proficiency Test

What is happening with the new option for Ontario applicants to get certified with a condition to pass the test?

Ontario applicants can now be certified with a condition to pass the test by December 31, 2021, provided they meet all other applicable certification requirements. We have worked closely with the government to provide Ontario applicants with more time to pass the math test, while enabling them to teach in the classroom.

If they do not pass the test by December 31, 2021, their certificate will expire and there will be no extensions. They will be required to pass the test and meet all other applicable certification requirements before reapplication.

Ontario applicants are individuals enrolled in, or who have completed, a program of professional education in Ontario. Please see the College’s Math Proficiency Test landing page to find out who is required to pass the test.

What if I’ve already successfully completed the Math Proficiency Test?

Ontario applicants who have written and successfully passed the test are already considered to have met this certification requirement and will not have this condition applied.

Are Ontario applicants exempt from the Math Proficiency Test?

No. However, we have worked closely with the government to certify Ontario applicants with a condition to pass the test by December 31, 2021, provided they meet all other applicable certification requirements.

This provides applicants with more time to pass the test, while enabling them to teach in the classroom.

If they do not pass the test by December 31, 2021, their certificate will expire and there will be no extensions. They will be required to pass the test and meet all other applicable certification requirements before reapplication.

What if I am in a multi-session program and apply for a transitional certificate?

Ontario applicants who apply for a transitional certificate will be granted one with a condition to pass the math test by December 31, 2021, provided they meet all other applicable certification requirements.

If they do not pass the test by December 31, 2021, their certificate will expire and there will be no extensions. They will be required to pass the test, complete their teacher education program and meet all other applicable certification requirements before reapplication.

Please see the Registration Guides for more information on the transitional certificate.

When do I have to write the test by?

All Ontario applicants who are certified with a condition to pass the test must do so by December 31, 2021. Otherwise, their certificate will expire and there will be no extensions. They will be required to pass the test and meet all other applicable certification requirements before reapplication.

What happens if I don’t pass the Mathematics Proficiency Test by December 31, 2021?

If you are an Ontario applicant who does not meet the condition on your certificate to pass the test by December 31, 2021, your certificate will expire and there will be no extensions. You will need to pass the test and meet all other applicable certification requirements before reapplication.

Why is this happening?

As a result of public health measures taken to stop the spread of COVID-19, many Ontario applicants would not have been able to meet the math test certification requirement. This condition enables Ontario applicants to enter the profession while ensuring that they must still meet certification requirements.

Can I still write the math test?

Please visit the Mathematics Proficiency Test website for more information about testing availability.

Printed copies

How can I get copies of my CQR, OCT membership card, etc.?

These items are available through our OCT Membership app. They are also available online through your Member account. You will be able to print from there.

Council and committee

Are these still happening?

All Council and committee activities are limited to high priority critical items that are considered urgent, such as those driven by legislative, regulatory or bylaw compliance requirements or issues that would otherwise place the organization at risk. These meetings are being held virtually.

Hearings

Are hearings still open?

We already conduct some panel meetings and committee meetings remotely. Our Investigations & Hearings team will continue to facilitate panel meetings as reasonable and appropriate, during this period. In-person hearings are suspended until further notice.

Mail Services

Is there anyone at the College available to accept couriers or documents sent by mail?

While our physical office is closed we continue to receive mail from Canada Post and couriers on an intermittent basis. All mail and packages are opened in adherence with safety protocols and routed to the appropriate department for action.

Are you able to mail out any documents?

No. While our physical office at 101 Bloor Street West in Toronto is closed due to COVID-19, we continue to work remotely. During this time, our processes and timelines may be delayed and some services can only resume when we reopen. However, when it is possible to do so, we will send documents by email (examples: documents that require translation, statements of professional standing).

Education and outreach

Is the College still holding outreach or information sessions?

No. To limit the spread of COVID-19, these sessions are postponed until further notice.

Private Tutoring

Are Ontario Certified Teachers able to provide private tutoring or teach in learning pods?

Yes.

Am I subject to the College’s jurisdiction if I teach privately?

Yes. As an Ontario Certified Teacher, you are subject to the College’s jurisdiction at all times.

Why should parents hire Ontario Certified Teachers like myself?

Ontario Certified Teachers (OCTs):

  • possess distinct knowledge and skills specific to teaching
  • engage in ongoing learning throughout their careers.
  • belong to a community of highly educated, responsible and caring practitioners who are committed to helping Ontario students develop and succeed.

All OCTs, along with their qualifications, can be found on our public register.

Am I still subject to the College’s jurisdiction if I’m retired or suspended for non-payment of fees and teach privately?

Yes. Regardless of your status, you are still an Ontario Certified Teacher, and therefore, subject to the College’s jurisdictions at all times.

Will the College connect members to parents looking for private instruction?

No. This is outside of our mandate.

How much should I charge for private instruction?

This should be discussed with parents directly.

Am I required to follow the Ministry of Education’s curriculum / safety protocols when doing private instruction?

This should be discussed between you and the parents.

However, the College strongly recommends that Ontario Certified Teachers follow the Ministry’s curriculum and safety guidelines. If in-person instruction is taking place, members should follow all public health and safety guidelines provided by their local public health unit.

Temporary Certificate

Who is eligible to receive a 2021 or 2022 temporary certificate?

Students who:

  • Have applied for membership in the College, supplied all required documents, paid all fees, and met our registration requirements
  • Have applied for the temporary certificate
  • Are enrolled in an accredited Ontario teacher education program and are expected to successfully complete their program by December 31, 2021, have made successful progress in their program and, at the time of application, successfully completed a portion of their practicum requirement
  • Have ensured that they have been reported as being eligible for the temporary certificate by their faculty of education.

Teachers with a limited certificate issued from another Canadian province or territory can also apply if it is similar to the temporary certificate.

2021 temporary certificate deadline extended
The Ministry of Education has recently announced that temporary certificate holders who were granted the temporary certificate in 2021 are able to request an extension to the current deadline from December 31, 2021 to June 30, 2022. There will be no further extensions permitted for the 2021 temporary certificate.

To request an extension to your 2021 temporary certificate, complete this form. To be eligible for the extension, we must be in receipt of your form before December 31, 2021.

Application for 2022 temporary certificate
The College is now accepting applications for temporary certificates from eligible teacher candidates who have successfully completed a portion of their practicum at the time of application and are expected to successfully complete the program by the end of 2022.
To apply for a temporary certificate, complete this form and ensure all outstanding documents on your application have been received, including a report from your faculty of education which confirms your eligibility for this certificate.

Please see our temporary certificate FAQ.

Where can I find more information about the temporary certificate?

Please see our temporary certificate FAQ.


Messages to Members & Applicants

Temporary Certificate of Qualification and Registration

February 1, 2021

The Temporary Certificate of Qualification and Registration is a limited one-time, emergency measure designed to address severe teacher shortages in Ontario’s public school system caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary certificate was created at the direction of the College’s Council and based on a request from the Ministry of Education, the Ontario Association of Deans of Education and the Council of Directors of Education.

See the FAQs about the temporary certificate.

Who Can Apply?

Ontario teacher candidates can apply for the temporary certificate if they:

  • are expected to successfully complete their Ontario program of professional education by December 31,2021*
  • have, as of the date of their application, successfully completed a portion of the practicum* and
  • have made satisfactory progress in their program*

*As determined by reports made by Faculties of Education and sent to the College upon request of the teacher candidate. In order to be granted the temporary certificate, applicants must have also paid all necessary fees and meet all other applicable certification requirements.

Candidates must have applied for membership in the College, supplied all required documents, paid all fees, and met our registration requirements (These registration requirements include the holding of an acceptable postsecondary degree unless you are enrolled in a Native Language, First Nations, Métis, Inuit Ancestry or technological education initial teacher education program.)

Labour Mobility applicants may also apply for this temporary certificate – please see relevant section below for more information.

What Can I Do With a Temporary Certificate?

The temporary certificate enables Ontario teacher candidates to be employed as occasional teachers. This teaching experience may be used to satisfy practicum requirements, as determined by the faculty of education.

How Long is the Temporary Certificate Valid?

The temporary certificate can be granted on or after January 30, 2021 and expires on December 31, 2021, subject to the Mathematics Proficiency Test condition as described in the next question and answer. There are no extensions.

The temporary certificate may be converted into a general Certificate of Qualification and Registration if the College receives satisfactory evidence that:

  • practicum and program requirements are completed before January 1, 2022, and
  • any conditions on the certificate are satisfied, including successful completion of the Mathematics Proficiency Test by December 31, 2021.
Do I have to pass the Mathematics Proficiency Test?

Ontario applicants certified between January 31, 2021 and December 31, 2021 – An Ontario applicant who is required to pass the Mathematics Proficiency Test can be granted a temporary certificate with a condition to pass the test by December 31, 2021. If they do not pass the test by December 31, 2021, their certificate will expire and there will be no extensions. They cannot be granted another temporary certificate. They will be required to pass the test and meet all other applicable certification requirements before re-certification.

The temporary certificate may be converted into a general Certificate of Qualification and Registration if the College receives satisfactory evidence that:

  • practicum and program requirements are completed before January 1, 2022, and
  • any conditions on the certificate are satisfied, including successful completion of the Mathematics Proficiency Test by December 31, 2021.

Please see the College’s information on the Mathematics Proficiency Test.

Can I take an Additional Qualification (AQ) course while holding a Temporary Certificate?

If you have successfully completed your program of professional education, you may take AQ courses through a faculty of education. You will not be admitted into an AQ course without first having completed your program of professional education.

Please note that if you successfully complete an AQ course, the AQ will not appear on your Temporary Certificate of Qualification and Registration. Instead, once you convert your Temporary Certificate to a General Certificate of Qualification and Registration, the AQ will be reflected on the General Certificate provided that you meet all other requirements outlined in Part III of Regulation 176/10 to be awarded the qualification.

Teacher candidates who hold a Temporary Certificate of Qualification and Registration with a condition to successfully complete the Math Proficiency Test (MPT) and a condition to complete their program will need to complete both conditions in order to convert to a General Certificate of Qualification and Registration.

Should you complete the AQ course before your program of professional education is completed, the AQ will be considered by the College to have been taken for personal professional learning purposes and will not appear on your General Certificate of Qualification and Registration.

Please ensure that you arrange to have an official transcript sent directly to the College, confirming completion of the program of professional education. The College will also require a report from your faculty confirming completion of the program.

Will I be a member of the College?

Yes, all temporary certificate holders are members of the College. As such, they are required to uphold the Standards of Practice and Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession and may be subject to investigation and discipline proceedings relating to complaints of professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity.

Will I be a member of the College?

Yes, all temporary certificate holders are members of the College. As such, they are required to uphold the Standards of Practice and Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession and may be subject to investigation and discipline proceedings relating to complaints of professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity.

Labour Mobility Applicants

Holders of temporary certificates from another Canadian province or territory may be granted the temporary certificate if their out of province certification is deemed comparable to the temporary certificate and all other certification requirements are met. The Temporary Certificate may be granted on or after January 30, 2021 and expires on December 31, 2021. The temporary certificate may be converted into a general Certificate of Qualification and Registration if the College receives satisfactory evidence that practicum and program requirements are completed before January 1, 2022.

How to apply?

You can now request the temporary certificate online. Please see Registration Guides for application requirements.


A Message from the College

September 2

We sincerely hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well during these challenging times.

Many of you are returning to learning environments that look and feel far different from those you were required to leave abruptly earlier this year. You may also be considering re-entering the workforce.

You might be reluctant to return to school because you are worried about your safety, the safety of your students and the difficulties of teaching in a changed environment. As you know, supporting student learning in the COVID-19 world is challenging. However, our members are dedicated in the care and commitment to their students.

Earlier this year, schools were closed because of the virus and you adapted. The way you shifted by immersing yourself in new technologies, in a very short time, so that children and youth continue to learn shows how resilient Ontario’s teaching profession truly is.

Members should continue to demonstrate the highest level of professionalism as you navigate uncertain times. It is important that you follow provincial, municipal and employer guidelines.

College Resources

As you navigate a new reality this September, we’ve gathered various College resources to help guide you.

In addition to your employer and the Ministry of Education’s advice, the College’s professional advisories and video conferencing guidelines are designed to support your professional practice, be it in class or online:

Furthermore, those of you planning to provide private tutoring or teaching in learning pods can learn more here.

If you are retired or suspended for non-payment of fees, click here to reinstate your membership. You are required to be a member in good standing to be eligible to teach in the publicly funded system.

Since March, COVID-19 has impacted the entire world. Yet, through this time of uncertainty, we have seen how compassion, collegiality, friendship, and resilience have strengthened and brought us together.

Ontario’s teaching profession has always been united by our ethical standards of care, trust, respect, and integrity. Our collective traits – the way we collaborate with others, commit to students’ well-being and persist in the face of challenges – are needed now more than ever.

The College is Open, Virtually

We are available to assist you. We have begun a phased-in return of staff to our physical office, however, it will remain closed to visitors for the time being to ensure everyone’s safety. As we progress through the reopening phases we will keep you informed.

Although our office is closed to visitors, our call centre is open and available to answer your questions from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. Please call us at 416.961.8800 (toll-free in Ontario at 1.888.534.2222).

In addition, our social media team is active and is responding during this same period on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Linkedin and Pinterest.

You can also reach us through our e-Services and other online services at oct.ca.

To further assist you, the following links to a variety of additional resources are provided for your reference:

ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS
COVID-19: Information, Resources & FAQs

GOVERNMENT OF CANADA
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

GOVERNMENT OF ONTARIO
How Ontario is responding to COVID-19
Guide to reopening Ontario's schools
Operational Guidance: COVID-19 Management in Schools
Public Health Unit Locator

ANXIETY CANADA
7 Tips for Educators Returning to School During COVID-19

CAMH – CENTRE FOR ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH
Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Educators During COVID-19: Support during challenging times

COLLEGE LIBRARY SERVICES
Access a wide assortment of ebooks and research options

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING
TVO
TFO

We are confident in your capacity to do what you do best: adapt, teach and inspire.

Please continue to take good care of you and yours.

Sincerely,

Nicole van Woudenberg, OCT
Chair of Council
Chantal Bélisle, OCT
Deputy Registrar

Message to Members and Applicants

April 8

On behalf of the Ontario College of Teachers, it is our sincere hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well during these challenging times.

As you know, the Ministry of Education recently announced a Learn at Home program to support student learning during the pandemic and the period of school closure. This program will be supported by teacher led learning using a variety of online tools. Used thoughtfully and appropriately, these new technologies offer opportunities for members to guide learning through innovative and engaging ways.

Please use your professional judgement and follow the guidance provided by the Ministry of Education and your employer with respect to the use of video conferencing and other communication tools that allow you to interact directly with your students. We also hope that the College’s professional advisories on the Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media, the Duty to Report and Supporting Students’ Mental Health, are of assistance in guiding your professional practice.

As you engage with your students online, we remind you of your unique role in students’ lives and the importance of maintaining professional boundaries in this new virtual learning environment. Applicants, be mindful that professionalism in teaching includes the ability to adapt quickly to changes in learning in all circumstances.

This is uncharted territory and we are confident in your capacity to do what you do best.

For students everywhere, life has changed drastically. Routines are gone. They are isolated from classmates, friends and extended families. Students, parents and caregivers are looking to you for reassurance, guidance and leadership. You have a unique opportunity to be a calming, reasonable voice.

The College remains open, virtually

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we are working from home and remain available to assist you. Your safety – and ours, collectively – drives our thoughts and actions.

Although our physical offices are closed, our call centre remains open and available to answer your questions from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Please call us at 416.961.8800 (toll-free in Ontario at 1.888.534.2222). Our social media team is active and is responding during this same period on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Linkedin and Pinterest. You can also reach us through our e-Services, online application form and other online services at oct.ca.

To further assist you, the following links to a variety of resources are provided for your reference:

Ontario’s teaching profession has always been guided by our ethical standards of care, trust, respect and integrity. This is more important now than ever.

By taking care of each other, we will get through this together.

Sincerely,
Paul Picard, OCT
Interim Deputy Registrar

 

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

© 2022 Ontario College of Teachers

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