Ontario Teachers Get Professional Designation
September 01 2009
In September 2008, Council approved the granting of OCT or EAO as a professional designation to all members in good standing with the Ontario College of Teachers.
What it stands for
- OCT stands for Ontario Certified Teacher. The Council of the Ontario College of Teachers awards the designation to certified, qualified members of the College who are in good standing. Ontario’s Education Act defines a teacher as a member of the Ontario College of Teachers. Only College members are privileged to work and teach in Ontario publicly funded schools and school systems.
- EAO – Enseignante agréée de l’Ontario or Enseignant agréé de l’Ontario – is the equivalent terminology for the professional designation in French for French-speaking members of the College.
- The OCT designation protects the public interest in public education. It represents a statement of accountability that:
- identifies qualified teachers in Ontario’s publicly funded schools
- recognizes teachers as professionals who possess a specific knowledge base and a distinct skill set
- reflects the ongoing learning that teachers as professionals engage in throughout their careers
- acknowledges teachers as members of a community of highly educated, responsible and caring practitioners who are committed to the growth and development of Ontario students.
- OCT lets students, parents and the public know instantly that teachers’ professional practice is guided and informed by the profession’s standards of practice and ethical standards.
- OCT holders can immediately recognize other OCTs as fellow professionals who are committed to their own career growth and to advancing professionalism in teaching.
Who it affects
- The professional designation affects the College’s 220,000 certified, qualified members.
Who can use the designation and who cannot
- Only Ontario College of Teachers members in good standing can use the designation.
- College members who resign, retire or fail to pay their fees and are therefore ineligible to teach in Ontario’s publicly funded schools cannot use the designation. Members whose teaching certificates have been revoked or suspended as disciplinary measures are ineligible to use the OCT designation.
- The Ontario College of Teachers is trademarking the use of the OCT designation. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.
- Certified College members in good standing have the right to use OCT on letterhead, business cards and professional materials.
What happens if the designation is misused?
- The College’s process for discipline will apply to members for abuse of the OCT designation. Non-members who use the designation to falsify their professional standing will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
What support was there for a professional designation for Ontario teachers?
- Over 5,000 College members responded to surveys seeking feedback on the proposed designation. The research showed significant support for a professional designation for Ontario teachers.
- 87 per cent of focus group participants polled favoured a professional designation for teachers
- 80 per cent of respondents to an electronic survey conducted by Angus Reid Strategies in August 2008 supported a professional designation
- 66 per cent of respondents to a July 2008 telephone survey conducted by COMPAS Inc. supported a professional designation for teachers.
How will the designation be used?
- Individual College members – classroom teachers, principals, superintendents and directors of education – are encouraged to use OCT in professional correspondence, on report cards and in communication with parents
- The College will use the professional designation in its ongoing communication with members and the public. The abbreviation will be applied to member certificates in print and on its online public register (see Find a Teacher).
- OCT will appear next to members’ names in Professionally Speaking, the College’s official publication, as well as in paper correspondence, electronic newsletters, e-mails, guides, brochures, documents, consultations and other means of communication.