College of Teachers to Require Criminal Declaration and Record Check
September 24 1998
TORONTO – New applicants to the Ontario College of Teachers will be
required to declare prior criminal convictions and supply a report of criminal
record screening provided by a local police department, College Chair Donna
Marie Kennedy announced today. The new policy will come into force January
1, 1999 and is designed to ensure greater public protection.
The screening policy will apply to about 5000 teacher graduates from Ontario
faculties of education and out-of-province teachers and graduates applying
for College membership yearly.
"The College’s mandate is to establish and enforce professional and ethical
standards, and protect the public interest," said College Chair Donna Marie
Kennedy. "The College ensures that teachers are, and remain, highly skilled
to practice their profession and that teachers are worthy of the trust placed
in them by students, parents and their professional colleagues."
The College Council approved the policy at their September 24, 1998 meeting
and requested the policy to be reviewed after one year. Council also recommended
the College work in co-operation with faculties of education and employers
of College members to implement similar checks.
A positive finding of a criminal record will not automatically disqualify
an applicant from the teaching profession. The final decision to refuse an
applicant because of a criminal record rests with the College Registrar according
to the Ontario College of Teachers
"The College will consider factors like the nature of the offence, the time
elapsed since the conviction, rehabilitation efforts and behaviour since the
offence was committed," Registrar Margaret Wilson said. "Applicants will be
informed of the reasons why they have been refused membership and have the
opportunity to appeal through the Registration Appeals Committee of the College."
The majority of Ontario’s 31 self-regulating professions require a declaration
of criminal record upon registration with annual updates in some cases. The
B.C. College of Teachers has a criminal record check policy in place for all
of its members according to the British Columbia Criminal Record Review