Committed to Improvement
The College is committed to ensuring that our complaints and discipline process is efficient, transparent and procedurally fair.
The College has continually improved our investigation, complaint resolution and adjudication processes since our establishment in 1997. This commitment to improvement is aided by researching and adopting best practices in professional regulation, and by commissioning reviews by external experts into various aspects of our regulatory activities.
The most recent of these external reviews was by Ontario’s former chief justice, Patrick LeSage, who provided his Review of the Ontario College of Teachers Intake, Investigation and Discipline Procedures and Outcomes, and the Dispute Resolution Program in May 2012.
Here you will find information about ongoing improvements to College policies, practices or procedures relating to complaints and discipline.
New online complaint form
The Ontario College of Teachers now has a simpler way for the public to submit legitimate complaints concerning allegations of professional misconduct against its members. The new online complaint section of the website is an intuitive and interactive platform that helps individuals determine if the College’s Investigations and Hearings department is the appropriate body to address a concern about a member of the College of Teachers. The complaint form is straightforward, easy to complete and directs completed submissions immediately to an appropriate College staff member for processing.
In addition, the College accommodates members of the public who are unable to submit their complaints online or in writing by allowing complaints to be made in another manner. Specific accommodations will depend on an individual’s circumstances.
Adjustments to procedures intended to speed up investigations process
To help investigations progress in a timely manner and ensure they are fair to all parties involved, the Ontario College of Teachers is moving to provide its members with:
- more information about allegations will be disclosed with a maximum of 60 days to reply to a complaint filed against them.
The changes flow from recommendations in former Ontario Chief Justice Patrick LeSage’s Review of the Ontario College of Teachers Intake, Investigation and Discipline Procedures and Outcomes, and the Dispute Resolution Program. The College commissioned the independent review, which was released in May 2012.
Members will now be provided with 60 days to respond to a complaint, with the 60 days split into two parts. The College will provide members with an initial response period of 30 or 45 days. If new information becomes available after the initial response period, the College will provide them with the additional materials. The member is then given 30 or 15 more days – depending on the initial time given – for a total of 60 days. Exceptional circumstances may require a longer time frame.
All the relevant information about a complaint – such as documents, photographs or physical evidence – is not always available at the start of an investigation. The response period is not 60 continuous days because the College cannot anticipate when new information may become available.
During an investigation of allegations against a member, the College acts in a fair and impartial way to respect the members’ rights while protecting the public interest. The College notifies members and tells them about a complainant’s concerns. Members are invited to respond.
Relevant bail conditions to be posted to Find a Teacher
College Council amended Section 25 of the College bylaws on November 15-16, 2012 to ensure that any release conditions – including bail conditions – relevant to a member’s ability to practise are included on their individual listing on the College’s online public register, Find a Teacher.
This practice will help to provide transparency and assure the public, parents, students and members of the profession that the courts, police and the College are acting in the public interest to ensure the safety of students.
When the College is notified that conditions have been imposed that affect a member’s ability to teach:
- the member/member’s counsel will be informed of the College’s intent to post relevant release/bail conditions and provided with the wording of the posting for Find a Teacher
- the member/member’s counsel will have up to 14 days to respond to the College
- conditions relevant to the member’s ability to practise will be posted
- the member/member’s counsel should advise the College if the court or other lawful authority amends the release restrictions
- any changes to conditions would be confirmed with the issuing court and the posting on Find a Teacher modified accordingly
- the member/member’s counsel will receive a copy of any changes to the conditions posted on the online public register
- release conditions will include relevant parole, probation or other post-incarceration conditions.
For further information about the posting of release conditions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.