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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Professional Self Regulation

The privilege to self regulate

Self regulation recognizes the maturity of a profession. It honours the special skills, knowledge and experience that a profession possesses.

Self-regulation means that the government has delegated its regulatory functions to those who have the specialized knowledge necessary to do the job. The granting of self-regulation acknowledges a profession’s members are capable of governing themselves.

Teaching is one of the many self-regulating professions in Ontario. Other self-regulated professions include nurses, doctors, chartered accountants, engineers and lawyers.

The power of self government

A self-regulating organization is the licensing body responsible for setting educational, technical and ethical standards.

Generally speaking, the power of self-government has two aspects:

  • the power to license
  • the power to discipline.

The self-regulating organization sets and maintains standards of competency and conduct. It supervises members and enforces those standards by disciplining members who fail to adhere to them.

Once a person has been admitted to a profession, the self-governing body has an ongoing obligation to the public to ensure that its members remain competent. They must also continue to meet professional and ethical standards.

The professional regulator’s duty to protect the public interest sets it apart from other organizations, such as professional associations.

In contrast, professional associations are voluntary membership-driven organizations. They are dedicated to furthering the economic, employment, professional and political interests of their members and advocating on their behalf. As a general rule, they neither discipline nor license their members.

Creation of the College

In its 1994 report For the Love of Learning, Ontario’s Royal Commission on Learning believed that “the teaching profession in Ontario must now be considered equal to other established professions.” It recommended establishing the Ontario College of Teachers.

In 1997, the Ontario government passed legislation to enable the teaching profession to regulate itself.

The teaching profession, through its College,

  • sets the requirements for entering teaching
  • certifies qualified teachers
  • develops and maintains ethical standards and standards of practice
  • accredits teacher education programs and courses to ensure consistent high quality in the preparation of teachers
  • disciplines those who breach provincial standards for conduct in teaching

Accountable to the public

An important element of self-regulation for the teaching profession, and any other profession, is public accountability. The College operates in an open and accountable manner. We communicate with the public about what we do and how our work supports public education.

College activities are transparent to the public and information is easily accessible.

Read more about professional self regulation in Canada and internationally.

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

© 2017 Ontario College of Teachers

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