Teachers share with the public a strong commitment to providing the best education possible for Ontario children. The College was established to act on behalf of the teaching profession in fulfilling that commitment. The College operates in an open and accountable manner to promote public trust and confidence in the teaching profession.
During the course of your career, you
will often hear and read that the College reglates the teaching profession in the public interest.
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 is an acknowledgement by the legislature that teaching is a profession whose members are capable of governing themselves.
The teaching profession, through its College, sets the requirements for entering teaching, certifies qualified teachers, develops and maintains ethical standards and standards of practice, and accredits teacher education programs and courses to ensure consistent high quality in the preparation of teachers.
We operate in an open and accountable manner, which means that we communicate with the public about what we do and how our work supports public education. This approach builds public trust in the profession and the important role it plays in the education of Ontario students.
An essential element of self-regulation for the profession is public accountability. The College operates in an open and accountable manner in order to build and maintain public confidence in the work that it does. Accountability means that College activities are transparent to the public and information is easily accessible.
Students, parents, teachers and the public all benefit from a publicly accountable profession.
Find a Teacher section of the website
An Ontario teaching certificate is, in effect, a licence to teach in Ontario. The College issues teaching certificates under powers delegated to it by the Ontario legislature, so your qualifications and the fact that you hold a teaching certificate are matters of public record.
The Ontario College of Teachers Act requires that the College maintain a public register of its members.
Find a Teacher, available online, provides information on your status and qualifications as a teacher, and is an important part of the teaching profession’s commitment to openness and public accountability.
Our goal is to help ensure that students in Ontario schools are taught by highly skilled, certified teachers practising to the highest standards.
The accessibility of the Find a Teacher link benefits our members in a number of ways. If you need to show proof of your qualifications for employment purposes, for example, you can refer potential employers to the Find a Teacher section on the College website.
The College's annual report is one of the ways in which we
to be accountable to the public .
Find a Teacher does not include personal information, such as address or phone number. It provides the following information about each College member:
- name and registration number
- type of certificate held
- date certificate was issued and expiry date, if applicable
- notification of completion of the New Teacher Induction Program
- Basic and Additional Qualifications
- where and when degrees and teacher education programs were completed
- whether a member is in good standing, whether a member has retired or resigned, whether a certificate has been revoked or suspended
- whether a member is subject to an order of the Discipline or Fitness to Practise committees or appealing an order of either committee
- any terms, conditions or limitations placed on a certificate.
The public register has been available to members of the profession and the public since 1997. A member may request to remove a former name from the register, provided the member has never taught under that name, by completing a request form on the College website. The Registrar may require supporting documentation with the request.
Legislation requires the College to report annually to the legislature about its activities. The College uses this opportunity to produce an annual report that provides a wealth of statistical information about the Ontario teaching profession. A wide variety of policy-makers, media, academics, schools and other education organizations look to the College for key information about Ontario certified teachers.
We have published the annual report online since 2008 to reduce our environmental impact and enhance accessibility to a fuller range of statistical information about the Ontario teaching profession. Annual reports dating from 1997 are available here.
For the public, one of the College’s most important functions is its responsibility to address complaints about individual members. The College is committed to providing fair and impartial treatment for its members while carrying out its duty to protect Ontario students and the integrity of the profession.
It is very important to the public’s trust in our profession that information about this process is easily available.
Disciplinary hearings are open to the public and their outcome is published in Professionally Speaking and on our website. Any disciplinary action taken against a member is posted to the member’s record in the Find a Teacher section of the website. Copies of discipline decisions from hearings that are held in public are available on the College’s website.
A self-regulatory body carries out its mandate in a transparent and accountable manner to maintain public confidence
in the regulation of the profession in the public interest.
The College’s authority is contained in the Ontario College of Teachers Act, which was approved by the Ontario Legislature in 1996. The College is mandated to:
- regulate the profession of teaching and govern its members
- develop, establish and maintain qualifications for membership in the College
- accredit professional teacher education programs offered by postsecondary educational institutions in Ontario
- accredit ongoing education programs for teachers offered by postsecondary educational institutions and other bodies in Ontario
- issue, renew, amend, suspend, cancel, revoke and reinstate Certificates of Qualification and Registration
- provide for the ongoing education of members of the College
- establish and enforce ethical standards and professional standards applicable to members of the College
- receive and investigate complaints against members of the College and deal with discipline and fitness to practise issues
- develop, provide and accredit educational programs leading to certificates of qualification additional to the certificate required for membership, including but not limited to certificates of qualification for supervisory officers, and issue, renew, amend, suspend, cancel, revoke and reinstate such additional certificates
- communicate with the public on behalf of the members of the College
- perform such additional functions as are prescribed by the regulations.
Council and committee responsibilities
The College Council develops and approves policies for the regulation of the teaching profession through its committee work.
The Council is made up of Ontario certified teachers elected by College members from among the membership and public members appointed by the provincial government, some of whom have wide experience in the education sector.
The Council meets at least four times a year, and meetings are open to the public. Council minutes, once approved, are posted on the College website.
You can read summaries of Council meetings in the Governing Ourselves pages of Professionally Speaking.
The College Registrar, as chief executive officer, manages the business of the College. The Registrar is responsible for issuing certificates and maintaining the register of members, and may also suspend members for non-payment of fees and appoint investigators to look into complaints against members.The Deputy Registrar has responsibility for oversight of the financial operations of the College.
Four departments provide services to members and support the work of the Council committees under the leadership of the Registrar’s office.
The College bylaws set out the administrative procedures of the College and provide direction for implementing policy.
The bylaws include a number of sections that affect members directly. The bylaws:
- set out ethical standards and standards of practice for members of the profession
- require written notification within 30 days from a member of any change of information, such as address or name change
- set out the annual membership and other fees
- require that the College publication, Professionally Speaking, be distributed to all members
- describe the contents of the College register, determine what information members must provide, what information must be retained and what can be removed.
The bylaws are updated on the College website whenever they are amended by Council.
Public Interest Committee
A three-person Public Interest Committee is appointed by the provincial government to advise Council regarding its duty to serve and protect the public interest in carrying out the College’s objectives.
Teachers challenge their students' minds and encourage independent thought. We teach a
joy of overcoming a challenge rather than beign overwhelmed by it.