Professional Self Regulation
The privilege to self-regulate
Self-regulation recognizes the maturity of a profession and acknowledges its members are capable of governing themselves. It means the government has delegated its regulatory authority to those with the specialized knowledge required to do the job.
A self-regulating profession protects the public interest by setting standards of competency and conduct, and disciplines members that fail to meet them. It has the right and responsibility to license and discipline members.
The ethical standards of care, respect, trust and integrity are an essential part of the teaching profession in Ontario, and support the professionalism and success of teaching in the province. Self-regulation ensures that our members integrate those standards into their everyday practice.
What sets self-regulation apart
Professional regulators differ from other organizations such as professional associations. Those organizations are voluntary, and further the economic, employment, political and other interests of their members. Usually, they neither license nor discipline their members.
Establishing the College
Self-regulation of the teaching profession in Ontario dates back to 1994. In their report, For the Love of Learning, Ontario’s Royal Commission on Learning stated that "the teaching profession in Ontario must now be considered equal to other established professions". It recommended establishing the College, and in 1997 the Ontario College of Teachers Act created the College.
What we do
The Ontario College of Teachers Act gives us the exclusive right to regulate the teaching profession on behalf of our members, including:
- setting the requirements to become a teacher
- certifying teachers
- developing and maintaining ethical and professional standards
- accrediting teacher education programs and courses
- disciplining those who breach provincial standards of teaching conduct.
Accountability to the public
A key element of self-regulation is public accountability. We operate in an open and accountable manner, and always with the public interest in mind. We communicate with the public regularly about what we do and how we support public education in Ontario. We prioritize transparency in everything we do with the public.
Read about how self-regulation works in Canada and around the world.