Teachers must have a valid teaching licence in order to teach in Ontario’s publicly funded schools. This includes teachers who work outside the classroom, such as principals, vice-principals, consultants, superintendents and directors of education.
The College issues teaching licences and can amend or revoke them.
The requirements for joining the College are set out in Regulation 184/97 of the Education Act. For example, the Act determines that every teacher must have an acceptable degree and must have completed a teacher education program.
The College is responsible for ensuring that all applicants meet the requirements for certification; it does this by reviewing the documents that support applications.
The College also has the responsibility to ensure that licensing requirements continue to be appropriate and up to date, and to propose changes to the licensing regulation, for approval by the provincial Cabinet. In 2005, we initiated a review of these qualifications, consulting widely with education stakeholder organizations and members. The College is currently working with the provincial government and other education partners to implement recommendations that resulted from that review.
When you became a member, the College issued you a one-time Certificate of Registration that is proof of your membership.
After you pay your annual membership fee each year, you receive a Certificate of Qualification and a new membership card that you can show to prove you are a member in good standing and eligible to teach in Ontario’s publicly funded schools.
The College must also ensure that its members continue to uphold the standards of the profession.
We receive formal complaints, investigate them and, where appropriate, present evidence of professional misconduct before a duly constituted disciplinary panel of the College’s governing Council.
The panel reviews and weighs all the evidence presented and, if it finds a member guilty of professional misconduct, it has the authority to order the Registrar to impose conditions on the member’s licence or to suspend or revoke the licence. Conditions and suspensions may require additional education or counselling before the member is permitted to return to teaching.
The College’s authority for the purposes of determining professional misconduct continues as long as a member has a Certificate of Registration, even if the member has resigned or retired from the College.
The Ontario College of Teachers Act also requires the College to maintain a register of its members and to make it available to the public, as part of our responsibility to be accountable.