Your Professional Designation
Your mark of professionalism
For the first time in the history of Ontario education, teachers in this province have a professional designation. In fact, this was a first for Canadian educators.
The Ontario College of Teachers launched the Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT) designation in the fall of 2009.
The College Council grants the OCT designation to members in good standing. The designation signifies that you:
- are certified and qualified to teach in Ontario’s publicly funded schools
- possess distinct knowledge and skills specific to teaching
- engage in ongoing learning throughout your career
- belong to a community of highly educated, responsible and caring
practitioners who are committed to helping Ontario students develop
Teaching was one of the only self-regulated professions in the province without a professional designation. Most people are familiar with RN, CA, and PEng as designations for nurses, chartered accountants and engineers. The abbreviations become common fixtures in everyday language, symbolic of the professions and respected titles for their practitioners.
OCT lets students, parents and the public know that you belong to a community of highly educated professionals, people whose practice is guided and informed by the profession’s standards of practice and ethical standards.
Symbol of respect
College members indicated they favoured a professional designation through the College’s annual member survey, focus groups and an extensive electronic poll designed and managed by expert firms outside the College. They told us they wanted a symbol of personal, professional achievement.
You belong to a community of highly educated, responsible and caring practitioners who are committed to helping Ontario students develop and succeed.
OCT is that symbol. It’s an important distinction and one the College hopes you will use frequently in the months and years ahead.
The College includes the professional designation on certificates, correspondence, the public register and Council decisions.
OCT is not a lifetime award. Only those who maintain their good standing with the College can use the designation. Those who resign, retire, fail to pay their membership fees, or whose teaching certificate has been revoked or suspended for disciplinary reasons are ineligible to use it.
We encourage you to use OCT in your professional correspondence and wherever you can to promote professionalism in teaching.