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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History of the College

1994

The report of the Royal Commission on Learning, For the Love of Learning, recommends teachers in Ontario regulate their profession.

1996

The government proclaims the Ontario College of Teachers Act July 5, creating the College, with a mandate to:

  • license teachers in Ontario
  • set and maintain professional standards for the teaching profession
  • implement a disciplinary process
  • accredit teacher education programs.

The legislation established a 31-member Council of 17 elected members of the College and 14 members of the public appointed by the provincial government. The size and makeup was modified in 2006 to 37 Council members (23 elected members and 14 members of the public).

1997

On May 20, we open our doors and begin handling all public teaching applications in Ontario. Notable firsts include:

  • 165,000 members’ records transferred from the Ministry of Education
  • a public registry of all public school teachers
  • development of the Professional Misconduct Regulation in cooperation with the provincial government
  • a pilot project (through to 2000) to review Ontario’s teacher education programs
  • we predict a shortfall of teachers, and work with the Minister’s Task Force on Teacher Recruitment and Renewal, leading to the creation of an additional 1,500 spots in Ontario’s teacher education programs
  • the first issues of Professionally Speaking and Pour Parler Profession are published
  • we successfully defend the quality of teaching in Ontario, by recommending that non-certified instructors not be put in classrooms, something proposed in the Education Quality Improvement Act.

1998

  • We hold our first public disciplinary hearing.
  • We introduce a criminal record check for all applicants.

1999

2000

2001

  • The College launches a five-year study to track teacher experiences, leading to the creation of our annual Transition to Teaching reports and a policy paper, Growing into the Profession.

2002

  • We assume responsibility for accrediting all teacher education programs in Ontario.

2003

2004

  • We release Narrowing the Gender Gap: Attracting Men to Teaching, to address the low numbers of male teachers.
  • The Teachers’ Qualifications Review is launched, to review how teachers are prepared to teach, and their continuing education.
  • We partner with LASI World Skills, Skills for Change and the Ontario Teachers’ Federation to launch the Teach in Ontario partnership, to help immigrant teachers gain certification and find employment as a teacher.

2006

  • The College significantly increases its involvement with Indigenous communities.
  • We update our Ethical Standards to embody our principles of care, trust, integrity and respect and our registration practices and processes.
  • We streamline the Ethical Standards and Standards of Practice.
  • Council is expanded by six seats, reserved for classroom teachers.
  • The government amends the Ontario College of Teachers Act, requiring Council members to swear an oath of office, and providing for a Public Interest Committee.

2008

  • The College publishes the results of a two-year review of our registration practices and processes.

2009

  • The Ontario Labour Mobility Act, 2009 becomes law, allowing teachers certified in any Canadian jurisdiction to teach elsewhere in Canada without additional training or assessment.
  • Membership grows to more than 225,000.

2010

  • The College publishes its first Fair Registration Practices Report, which is updated annually.
  • The Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT) designation is introduced.
  • We remove the requirement for one year of teaching experience for certification.
  • We commission Patrick LeSage, former Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, and Lynn Mahoney, a former partner at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, to review all our practices and procedures related to our investigations and disciplinary mandate.

2012

  • The LeSage Report makes 49 recommendations, more than half of which required additions or amendments to provincial legislation or regulations. The changes were designed to ensure the College:
    • makes information about discipline hearings available sooner
    • reports discipline outcomes faster
    • shares more information with school boards, police and other regulators
    • names all those found guilty of professional misconduct.
    Council approves motions to reflect and incorporate the intent of these recommendations.
  • Membership grows to more than 235,000.

2015

  • As part of the Enhanced Teacher Education Program, teacher education programs are increased from two to four semesters, and an 80-day practicum is included.

2016

  • The government introduces Bill 37, the Protecting Students Act. The act introduces many new requirements related to the College’s disciplinary process, including:
    • a new requirement for mandatory revocation of a member’s certificate if they are found guilty of sexual abuse and prohibited acts of child pornography
    • requiring the publication of certain information about Discipline Committee decisions on the College’s website and in Professionally Speaking.
    Our Council Chair and Registrar address the provincial government’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs in support of proposed amendments recommended by Council, including amendments to further support transparency of the discipline process.

2017

  • We celebrate our 20th anniversary and participate in Doors Open Toronto.
  • We implement our requirements under the new Protecting Students Act.

2018

  • At the request of the Governance Committee, the College commissions an independent review of our governance structure, from Governance Solutions Inc. The governance report is presented to Council with 37 recommendations.

2019

  • R. v. Jarvis: in the appeal of a criminal case involving a teacher who was charged with and acquitted of voyeurism in two lower courts, the College intervenes before the Supreme Court of Canada, to provide perspective on student privacy and what constitutes acceptable professional conduct for teachers.
  • The Safe and Supportive Classrooms Act receives royal assent. The legislation:
    • expands the definition of sexual abuse acts that would result in the mandatory revocation of a member’s license
    • introduces new math competency testing for new teachers
    • makes changes to support the College’s governance review.

2020

  • Bill 229, Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020, receives royal assent which includes groundbreaking changes that enable the College to better protect the interests and wellbeing of Ontario’s students, while modernizing the College’s operations.

2021

  • Governance changes from Bill 229 are proclaimed which reflect many of the recommendations of the 8th Council. The government changes the College’s election based governance model to a competency-based selection process. The government appoints a Transition Supervisory Officer to over see the process.

101 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON, M5S 0A1

Client Services:

Telephone: 416-961-8800

Toll-Free (Ontario Only): 1-888-534-2222

info@oct.ca

All Other Inquiries:

Telephone: 437-880-3000

Toll-Free (Ontario Only): 1-833-966-5588

info@oct.ca

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