Professionals should not go up against their regulator alone
The Ontario College of Teachers (“OCT”) is the regulator for teachers in Ontario. They:
- decide who has a certificate to practice as a teacher
- handle complaints against teachers
But your College does not work for you. In fact, the College can:
- deny applicant’s applications for a teaching license
- suspend, revoke or place terms, conditions, or limitations on a teacher’s license
If you plan to apply to the College or have received notice of complaint it is important that you have representation to protect your interests and defend your rights.
Our team of experienced lawyers can assist with matters including:
- Advising teachers on compliance with relevant legislation and standards
- Responding to complaints and investigations at the College
- Representing teachers at the Fitness to Practise Committee
- Defending teachers in hearings before the College’s Discipline Committee
- Advocating for teachers to resolve matters through the College’s complaint resolution process
- Representing teachers in appeals before the Divisional Court of Ontario
Becoming certified by the Ontario College of Teachers can be a rather complex process.
Applications are reviewed by the College and they seek extensive evidence that an applicant meets the following requirements:
- Has successfully completed a minimum three-year postsecondary degree from an acceptable postsecondary institution
- Has successfully completed a four-semester teacher education program
- Has passed a Mathematics Proficiency Test
Once an application is submitted, the College may:
- Determine that you have met the requirements and issue a certificate of registration
- Issue a certificate of registration subjected to terms, conditions or limitations
- Determine that the requirements have not been met and propose to refuse to issue a certificate of registration
Our office can help you prepare an application and offer legal advice on concerns you may have. If you are planning to apply for a certificate from the OCT, contact us today.
The College of Teachers receives complaints from:
- members of the public
- students and parents of students
- other members of the College
Many of these parties are required to make reports to the College, for example:
- If an employer fires a teacher, or
- If a member of the college has [insert test] sexual abuse.
When the College receives a complaint the first step is a review by the Investigation Committee. If you have received notice of a complaint against you at the College of Teachers, please contact us today.
Fitness to Practise Committee
The Fitness to Practise Committee is a specialized Committee dealing with cases where a member’s conduct was impacted by an ongoing medical condition.
For example, a mental health condition may impact a member’s ability to maintain professional standards in aspects of their practice.
In our experience, a referral to the Fitness to Practise Committee can offer a number of benefits to members, because:
- Complaints are generally resolved in a more private manner
- The goal of the process is ensuring the health of the member
However, it is unusual for members to be referred to Fitness to Practise Committees without experienced legal representation. It takes experienced and detailed representation to present the appropriate evidence to the Investigation Committee at the OCT.
We have extensive experience at this specialized committee. If the complaint against you concerns your health or human rights, please contact us today.
The Investigation Committee can refer a complaint to the Discipline Committee. This is the public Committee that holds trials and whose outcomes are published in the Bluepages.
Before a matter progresses to a hearing at the Discipline Committee a pre-hearing may occur. A pre-hearing is an opportunity for the College and the member to present their case in an informal manner.
In our experience a pre-hearing at a college can be used to:
- Reduce the allegations against a member
- Reduce the penalty being sought by a member
- Raise important legal issues before trial
At the Discipline Committee a trial may take place where witnesses are called, and evidence is heard.
Outcomes at the Discipline Committee can include:
- Revocation of the member’s certificate
- Suspension of the member’s certificate
- Terms, conditions, and limitations on the member’s certificate
- Orders for the member to pay some or all of the costs of a trial
These are extremely serious public outcomes. If your matter has or could be referred to the Discipline Committee, please contact us today.
Decisions of the:
- Investigation Committee, and
- Registration Committee
can be judicially reviewed at the Ontario Divisional Court.
Decisions of the:
- Discipline Committee, and
- Fitness to Practise Committee,
can be appealed to the Ontario Divisional Court.
Unfortunately, self-represented individuals are very rarely successful in appeals. We have unique expertise in appeals from regulatory colleges. If you are considering an appeal, please contact us today.