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June 1998

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Purpball.gif (183 bytes) Highlights of the 1997 Annual Report
Purpball.gif (183 bytes) College’s First Public Hearings
Purpball.gif (183 bytes) Faculties of Education Undergo College Accreditation

The Ontario College of Teachers is the self-governing body of the teaching profession. It was created by the Ontario College of Teachers Act, 1996 to license and regulate the profession in the public interest and officially came into existence on May 20, 1997.

The College is governed by its Council, which is made up of 17 College members elected by practising teachers and 14 members of the public appointed by Order-In-Council.

In February, 52,642 teachers participated in the election of the College’s first Council in a mail-in ballot – a significantly higher turnout than elections for other self-regulating bodies.

In May, the new Council assembled for the first time and elected Donna Marie Kennedy as Chair and John Cruickshank to the position of Vice-Chair. Council also established five statutory and three standing committees to assist it in carrying out its responsibilities. Council met five times in 1997, while the College’s committees met a total of 24 times.

In August, members in good standing began to receive their Certificates of Registration and Qualification, which replaced the Ontario Teacher’s Certificate. Information on many certificates reflected data entry errors and files that had not been updated for years, so in its first year of operation the College had to launch a major initiative to update the certificates and correct its recently-inherited database.

At its meeting in September, Council approved a regulation that defines professional misconduct for College members. The Ontario College of Teachers and its committees will rely on these definitions during investigations and hearings into complaints about the misconduct of members.

Council closely monitors government initiatives. On October 20, the Chair of Council presented the College’s position on Bill 160 to the Standing Committee on the Administration of Justice and informed the MPPs that four clauses in the bill undermined the College’s mandate to certify teachers and determine their qualifications. The government withdrew the four problem clauses 10 days later.

The College received numerous inquiries and requests from a variety of stakeholders throughout the year including government, faculties of education, school boards, trustee organizations, the Ontario Teachers’ Federation and its affiliates, subject associations and school councils. The Ontario model of self-regulation also attracted a national and international audience, and the College received numerous delegations.

The profession experienced continued growth throughout the calendar year. By December 31, 165,099 teachers had registered, making the College the largest self-regulating body in the country.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee conducts the ongoing business of the College between Council meetings. It has the powers of Council with respect to any matter that requires immediate attention. If the Executive Committee exercises this power, it must report to Council at its next meeting. The committee does not have the power to make, amend or revoke a regulation or bylaw.

Committee Activities

The Executive Committee’s work during 1997 was focused on further developing the College’s structure and procedures.

Three special committees were established: the Election Review Committee, the Editorial Board and the Human Resources Advisory Subcommittee.

The committee also established two task forces. One task force examined policies related to paying Council members for their preparation time. It decided that members would only be paid for preparation time for meetings of Investigation panels. The second task force developed a protocol to guide those who speak for the College.

The committee developed, and brought to Council, a Code of Ethics for Council members. This code defines Council members’ obligations in the performance of their duties.

Over the course of the year, the Executive Committee provided substantive input into the Professional Misconduct Regulation; the College’s brief to the Standing Committee on Bill 160, the Education Quality Improvement Act; and the proposed Criminal Records Screening policy.

In November, the committee approved the appointment of an investigator under Section 36 of the Ontario College of Teachers Act. This kind of investigation may be initiated by the Registrar if she believes a College member has demonstrated professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity.

The Executive Committee reviewed all committee reports going to Council and filled vacancies on the Discipline and Accreditation Committees resulting from the resignations of Council members.

Standards of Practice and Education Committee

The Standards of Practice and Education Committee advises Council on the development of:

  1. pre-service and in-service standards of practice
  2. a provincial professional learning framework to support standards of practice and promote continuing competence among members of the College.

The committee is made up of five elected and four appointed members of Council. It met three times in 1997. Four subcommittees focused on specific tasks. Two of these subcommittees concentrated on standards of practice for the teaching profession; two initiated work in the area of ongoing professional learning and the professional learning framework. Each of these subcommittees included two external resource persons who are members of the College and have experience and expertise specific to the work of the particular subcommittee.

The subcommittee members, including the external resource persons, are:

Pre-service: Standards of Practice
Sandi Bell, Margaret Dempsey, Clarice West-Hobbs
Arlene Campbell
, acting vice-principal, Toronto District School Board
Jacqueline Harris, course director, York University

Professional Learning Framework
Liz Barkley, Frances Hill, Diane Leblovic
Kevin Crouse
, vice-principal, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board
Jacqueline Levesque, directrice générale, Centre de leadership en éducation

Supervisory Officer Qualification’s Program:
Standards of Practice

Margaret Dempsey, Frances Hill, William Rogers
Lynda Palazzi, superintendent of schools, Peel District School Board
Carole Weir, director of education, Superior North Catholic District School Board

Ongoing Professional Learning:
Standards of Practice

Liz Barkley, Harry Mulvale, Anthony Saldanha
Lori Barkans, teacher, Grand Erie District School Board
Michael Prendergast, teacher, Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board

The committee and unit staff completed a search of the national and international literature relating to standards of practice. The committee identified several themes consistently found in existing examples. The committee determined that these themes would provide the basis to initiate a conversation with members of the College and the public about what standards of practice might mean in the context of Ontario education.

The committee has undertaken a comprehensive and integrated approach to field-based research in order to ensure that members of the College and the public have an opportunity to provide data to assist in the development of the standards and the professional learning framework. The research activities include the use of structured focus groups, personal interviews, facilitated discussions and the use of web site postings as data-gathering opportunities. A written survey will also be field tested for broader distribution in 1998. All data will support the work of the committee as it prepares the first draft of the standards and the professional learning framework for consideration by the Council.

The committee has prepared print resource materials that support the exploration of the issues related to the development of standards of practice for the profession and the professional learning framework. These materials have been widely distributed and discussed.

The committee anticipates that a draft statement of standards of practice for the teaching profession and a preliminary report on the professional learning framework will be brought to the December 1998 meeting of the College Council for consideration. At this time, the committee will also recommend a process for a second phase of data-gathering and consultation with members of the College and the public.

The Standards of Practice and Education Committee appreciates the time many members of the College and the public have given to this phase of our work. The data gathering process continues to bring valuable insights and direction to the development of the standards of practice for the teaching profession.

Accreditation Committee

The mandate of the Accreditation Committee is to develop an accreditation process for all Ontario teacher education programs and providers. This is new and innovative work. Until now programs in the field of teacher education have never been accredited.

There are 10 faculties of education in the province providing teacher education pre-service programs. There are also a wide variety and number of in-service programs and providers. The committee decided to give priority to the development of an accreditation process for the pre-service programs. The committee is made up of five elected and four appointed members of Council.

Committee Activities

The Accreditation Committee met three times in 1997. It set up two subcommittees to facilitate its work. Subcommittee members included representatives of the Ontario Association of Deans of Education (OADE) and of the College membership at large.

External subcommittee members were:

Dr. Michael Awender, dean, faculty of education, University of Windsor
Dr. R. Terrance Boak, dean, faculty of education, Brock University
Dr. Rebecca Coulter, associate dean, faculty of education, University of Western Ontario
John Dunscombe, teacher, West Parry Sound Board of Education
Dr. Jean Handscombe, faculty of education, York University
Eleanor Newman, superintendent, Leeds and Grenville County Board of Education
Janet Ouellette, principal, Windsor Roman Catholic Separate School Board
Robert Pellerin, teacher, Simcoe County Board of Education
Dr. Stan Shapson, dean, faculty of education, York University

The subcommittees kept in close touch with the Standards of Practice and Education Committee as the themes around standards of practice for the profession were being discussed.

Pre-Service Program Review Subcommittee

The College conducted a massive data collection process in 1997. Letters were sent to French and English institutions and accrediting bodies around the world, asking them to provide information about programs and requirements. The subcommittee then developed program criteria tailored to Ontario requirements. These criteria were anchored on the trends and themes emerging from the work of the Standards of Practice and Education Committee.

Accreditation Subcommittee

The subcommittee task was to develop a draft accreditation process for pre-service education programs at Ontario faculties of education. It began its work by collecting data from colleges regulating other professions in Ontario, and from boards regulating teachers in other jurisdictions.

The accreditation process will involve all aspects of the teacher education program: the physical plant; research resources available to students and staff; the relationship between faculty and associate teachers; the length and cost of the program; and how programs address the main themes identified by the Standards of Practice Committee.

An accreditation model was developed which will be tested at three pilot sites: Laurentian University, Nipissing University and Queen’s University.

There was an intensive consultation process with the three pilot faculties. This included monthly meetings with deans and faculty members or their representatives. The process allowed a continuous dialogue and exchange of information.

College staff and committee members also visited other faculties to explain their work. As well, they provided monthly updates to meetings of the OADE.

The draft accreditation process was presented to the Accreditation Committee at the end of 1997.

The Accreditation Committee made plans to establish panels which will spend four days in 1998 at each faculty of education pilot site to meet with administration, faculty of education staff, associate teachers and teacher candidates.

In-service Program Review Subcommittee

In September, the College conducted three information sessions for representatives of subject area associations, faculties of education, teacher federations, community colleges, consortia, private providers and school boards to discuss in-service education programs and experiences. Information from those sessions was shared with the College membership by means of the College web site.

The In-service Program Review Subcommittee was formed to review the data and make recommendations about criteria to be applied to potential providers. This work is ongoing.

External subcommittee members were:

Elizabeth Falco, teacher, Trinity College School, Port Hope
William Gerth, principal, Central Huron Secondary School, Quinton
Hélène Koscielniak, superintendent, Conseil des écoles séparées catholiques du district de Kapuskasing
Dr. Joanne Quinn, director of continuing education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
Dr. Laverne Smith, dean, faculty of education, Nipissing University
Rochelle Williams, teacher, Westview Family Blue Haven Centre, North York

Investigation Committee

This statutory committee investigates complaints of alleged professional misconduct, incompetence and incapacity.

The committee is made up of five elected and two appointed members of the Council.

Complaints may come from the public – including students and parents – members of the profession, the Minister of Education and Training or the Registrar.

Allegations of professional misconduct, incompetence and incapacity are investigated thoroughly by the committee before it makes a decision. The committee decides which matters are to be forwarded to the Discipline or Fitness to Practise committees for a hearing.

Complaints Statistics

Origin of Complaints

Origin Number Percentage
*Minister/Ontario Teachers’ Federation (OTF) 11 20.3
School Boards/Employer 20 37.0
Parents 15 27.8
Students 3 5.6
Minister of Education 1 1.9
Registrar 1 1.9
Members of College 3 5.5
Total 54 100.0

* These complaints were originally filed with the OTF by school boards and employers in compliance with the legislation then in force.

Nature of Complaints

Nature of Complaint Number Percentage
Criminal charges or convictions 26 48.2
Inappropriate conduct: verbal 6 11.1
Inappropriate conduct: physical 4 7.4
Fitness to practise 5 9.3
Sexual impropriety: no criminal charges 4 7.4
Other 9 16.6
Total 54 100.0

Disposition of Complaints

Referrals to Discipline Committee 6
Cautions 1

The Investigation Committee has the power to:

  • dismiss a complaint
  • admonish or caution a member
  • refer a complaint to the Discipline Committee for a hearing
  • refer a complaint to the Fitness to Practise Committee for a hearing
  • take other appropriate action consistent with the Ontario College of Teachers Act.

Other Activities

Disposition of Complaints

The College received the power to commence investigations in May. The committee met three times during the year and held one panel meeting.

Almost half of the complaints related to criminal charges or convictions deemed to be matters which would impact on a member’s suitability to teach students. These were primarily sex-related offences.

The Professional Misconduct Regulation came into force on December 4, allowing the committee to begin making decisions about the results of its investigations. Seven cases were considered: six were referred to the Discipline Committee for a hearing; in one case, the member was cautioned about conduct.

The committee’s decisions and advice, particularly in the area of cautions to members, should serve an important educational function for the membership.

In 1997, the committee developed the guidelines, policies and procedures that it will use to conduct investigations and make decisions. In developing its procedures, the committee relied on the knowledge and experience of staff and legal counsel, and the practices and procedures of other regulatory bodies.

Committee members and staff were trained in decision-making, investigation procedures and were familiarized with legislation pertaining to education and self-regulation. This is an on-going process.

Committee members were involved in the development of the Professional Misconduct Regulation.

The committee is also developing an alternative dispute resolution mechanism. The College will use this process to settle disputes between complainants and College members as an alternative to hearings.

The committee and staff made presentations to groups representing the profession, teachers’ unions, parents and the general public.

Discipline Committee

The statutory mandate of the Discipline Committee is to rule on any allegation of professional misconduct or incompetence on the part of a College member. Professional misconduct is defined in the regulations. The committee is made up of seven elected and four appointed members of Council.

Complaints are referred to the committee by the Investigation Committee, the Council or the Executive Committee. Decisions are based on evidence placed before the committee in a hearing. Hearings are normally open to the public.

Where the committee finds a member guilty of professional misconduct or incompetence it may do one or more of the following:

  • direct the Registrar to revoke a certificate
  • direct the Registrar to suspend a certificate for up to 24 months
  • direct the Registrar to impose conditions or limitations on a certificate
  • impose a suspended penalty which may be waived if certain conditions are met in a specified time.

If the committee finds a member guilty of professional misconduct, it may also do one or more of the following:

  • require that the member be reprimanded, or counseled by the committee or its delegate, and have this penalty recorded on the register, temporarily or indefinitely
  • impose a fine of up to $5,000
  • publish its order, in detail or in summary, with or without the member’s name, in the College’s official publication
  • fix costs to be paid by the member to the College.

Committee Activities

The Discipline Committee met for a total of three days in 1997, and a subcommittee did extensive work on proposed rules of procedure. In drafting these rules, the committee reviewed investigation and hearing process of the Ontario Teachers’ Federation Relations and Discipline Committee. Committee members received training in conducting hearings and in writing decisions.

The Committee also gave careful consideration to the proposed Professional Misconduct Regulation and offered input to modify the regulation.

Fitness to Practise Committee

The Fitness to Practise Committee has the statutory power to rule on any allegation of incapacity on the part a College member. Cases may be referred to the committee by the Investigation Committee, by the Council or the Executive Committee. The committee is made up of three elected and two appointed members of Council.

When a complaint is received, the committee holds a hearing to determine whether physical or mental conditions or disorders exist that make a member unfit to carry out professional responsibilities. Hearings are not normally open to the public.

If the committee finds a member to be incapacitated it may:

  • direct the Registrar to revoke a certificate
  • direct the Registrar to suspend a certificate for up to 24 months
  • direct the Registrar to impose conditions or limitations on a certificate
  • impose a suspended penalty which may be waived if certain terms and conditions are met in a specified time.

Committee Activities

In 1997, the committee met three times and laid the foundation for its future operations. It conducted an overview of the complaint intake, investigation and hearing process, and developed draft Rules of Procedure for Conducting Hearings. In developing its rules the Committee considered the experiences of colleges regulating the health care professions in Ontario. The committee also provided training for its members in conducting hearings, decision-making and decision-writing.

Registration Appeals Committee

Those who have been denied registration in the College, or those who have restrictions put on their certificate may appeal those decisions to the Registration Appeals Committee. The committee is made up of three elected and two appointed members of Council.

The Committee met for two days in May to elect a vice-chair and to provide orientation for members to the assessment of teaching credentials. As well, members attended a training session on administrative law.

No applications for registration appeal were received in 1997.

1997 Statistics
All numbers reflect the 1997 calendar year.

Membership in the College*

Gender and Language

Male English 50,237
Male French 2,681
Female English 104,443
Female French 7,738
Total 165,099

* Includes members in good standing only

Geographic Distribution
By College of Teachers election zones

North 15,905
South East 28,731
Central 64,396
South West 55,217
Currently out of Province 570
Currently out of Country 280
Total 165,099

Age Distribution of the College Membership

Age Range Male Female
20–30 5,247 17,107
31–40 11,438 26,750
41–50 18,675 42,157
51–60 16,219 24,434
60> 1,144 1,882
Total 52,723 112,330

(46 members with unknown or invalid dates of birth)

Changes During 1997

Resigned 3,360
Revoked 2
Suspended 0
Suspended – non-payment of fees 6,357
Reinstated for payment in 1997 0

Registration Summary – 1997

Out-of-province and out-of-country evaluations 1,137
Applicants trained in Canada 345
Applicants trained out-of-country 792


Letters of Eligibility


Interim Certificates of Qualification


Rejected applications

Ontario new graduates processed 3,814
Letter of Eligibility to Interim Certificate of
Interim Certificate extensions 435
Interim Certificate to Certificate of Qualification conversions 647

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee advises Council about the College’s financial affairs and also acts as an audit committee. All of the committee’s recommendations must be approved by Council, which has the ultimate responsibility for the financial affairs of the College.

The committee makes recommendations about the College’s long term financial and operating plans. It determines the principles and guidelines used in setting the annual budgets, oversees budget preparation, and examines interim financial reports to ensure budget compliance and appropriate reporting to Council.

In its role as audit committee, the Finance Committee reviews, with management and the external auditors, the annual financial statements and makes recommendations about Council’s accounting, financial reporting and internal control procedures.

The committee reviews and makes recommendations about proposed annual membership and other fees. It also oversees the development of spending policies, investment guidelines, and the management of major financial risks.

Committee Activities

At its inaugural meeting, Council requested the committee to review the 1997 operating budget. The committee met in May and June to do this work. It recommended approval of the budget and, during the course of these deliberations, developed a set of financial objectives which it adheres to in overseeing the College’s financial affairs.

They are:

  • Services will be appropriately funded to meet legislative requirements. The Ontario College of Teachers Act, 1996 establishes the responsibilities and obligations of the College. The financial plans of the College will provide adequate resources in this regard.
  • Fees will be set at reasonable levels. The annual membership fee will be kept to the lowest possible level consistent with the other financial objectives.
  • Financial resources will be accumulated to ensure stability and independence. Although created by an act of the Ontario legislature, the College is an autonomous body corporate without share capital. In financial terms this requires the accumulation of financial resources of a sufficient size, and without reliance on borrowing, so that the College will have the capacity to: respond to unexpected risks; take advantage of opportunities; stabilize annual membership fees.

The committee reviewed the audited 1996 financial statements and recommended Council approval. The 1998 budget process began in August. Council approved the final budget in December.

The Committee also reviewed financial policy issues relating to travel, insurance and investment. The committee is made up of three elected and two appointed members of Council.



The financial statements of the Ontario College of Teachers are prepared by management which is responsible for the integrity, objectivity, reliability and fairness of the data presented, including amounts which, of necessity, must be based on estimates and informed judgments of current events and transactions.

In discharging its responsibility for the integrity and fair presentation of the financial statements, the College maintains a system of internal controls designed to provide assurance that transactions are authorized, assets are safeguarded and proper records are maintained. These controls include quality standards in hiring and training of employees, an effective segregation of responsibilities, and accountability for performance of those areas of responsibility.

Council and Finance Committee

The Council of the Ontario College of Teachers has the ultimate responsibility for reviewing and approving the annual financial statements and overseeing management’s responsibilities for the preparation and presentation of financial information and the maintenance of internal controls. Its Finance Committee, composed of five Council members, assists the Council in meeting these responsibilities, and performs the duties of an audit committee. The role of the committee includes the following:

  • To review, with management and the external auditors, the annual financial statements and the results of the auditors’ examination and to recommend the annual financial statements for approval to Council.
  • To consider with management and the external auditors any matters which could affect the adequacy of the Council’s accounting, financial reporting and internal control procedures.
  • To consider with management the financial policies with regard to spending, investment guidelines and the management of major financial risks faced by the College.

External Auditor

The College’s external auditor is Coopers & Lybrand, an independent auditing firm, appointed by the Council. Their responsibility is to report to the Finance Committee, the Council, and the members, regarding the fair presentation of the financial statements of the College. This responsibility is fulfilled by carrying out an examination in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. The auditors have full and unrestricted access to the Finance Committee to discuss their audit and related findings as to the integrity of the College’s financial reporting and the adequacy of the system of internal controls.

Four Teachers Lose Their Teaching Certificates
at College’s First Public Hearings

Four teachers lost their teaching certificates following the College’s first disciplinary hearings April 8–9. A fifth teacher, whose hearing was adjourned, will return to the College to complete his hearing in July.

The hearings were the first held by the Ontario College of Teachers and marked the first time that teachers’ disciplinary hearings were held in public. The College of Teachers Act requires public disciplinary hearings to ensure that the College protects the public interest. Parts of the hearings may be held in-camera to protect young witnesses.

The discipline panel revoked Peter Kuhn’s teaching certificate based on his criminal conviction for bribery of a Ministry of Education and Training official. Kuhn, of Kitchener, did not attend the hearing and was not represented.

The discipline panel also took away the teaching certificate of Narcisse Kuneman of Geraldton, now jailed as a dangerous offender, for more than 30 charges of sexual assault that span a period of 27 years. Kuneman did not attend the hearing.

Ian L. Mosley of Ottawa had his teaching certificate revoked for sexual abuse of a student, for which he was convicted and sentenced to a jail term. Mosley did not attend his hearing.

David C. Morgan of Bruce County also had his teaching certificate revoked for sexual abuse of two students. He did not appear and was not represented at his hearing.

Buryl L. Wilson of London agreed to resign his certificate and undertook not to teach anywhere in Canada or abroad as he prepares his appeal of his criminal conviction for sexual offenses. Wilson will appear before the discipline panel again on July 13.

All five teachers can no longer teach in a publicly-funded school in Ontario.

The written decisions and the facts of these cases will appear in the next edition of Professionally Speaking.

First Faculties of Education Undergo
College Accreditation

The Ontario teaching profession broke new ground in teacher education this spring when accreditation teams from the College arrived at three faculties of education to implement the newly-developed initial accreditation process.

The Ontario College of Teachers has assumed responsibility for ensuring that teacher education programs meet criteria developed by the profession.

The accreditation process officially got under way in March, when the faculties of education submitted volumes of required information to the College. In April and May, panels of educators visited the first pilot sites, Laurentian, Nipissing and Queen’s. Next winter, four more faculty of education programs will serve as pilot sites, and four more the following year.

The College developed the Pre-service Teacher Education Initial Accreditation Handbook to outline the accreditation process for the universities. It was published in February and served as the guideline for this spring’s initial accreditation process.

Each university in the pilot round provided information about their programs to the College. The documents cover a wide range of information – program history and development, the philosophy and conceptual framework of the programs, administrative information about teacher candidates, faculty and resources, admission criteria, curriculum and graduation requirements.


A five-member panel visited each university for four days to verify the information, and to interview and meet faculty, administration, teacher candidates, associate teachers, alumni, school board partners and others.

A major component of the on-site campus visit was the exhibits room where, among other things, teacher candidates’ work was on display to clearly demonstrate the theory-practice connection in the pre-service program.

The five-member panel was composed of three members of the College Council, a representative nominated by the faculty under review and a member-at-large of the Ontario College of Teachers.

In March, panel members spent three days preparing for their visit. Each panel was assigned to one university. Their job was to prepare a report and recommendations for the Accreditation Committee. The panel’s report highlighted strengths of the program and noted areas for improvement. The panel recommended one of three decisions to the Accreditation Committee:

  • initial accreditation granted
  • initial accreditation granted with conditions, or
  • initial accreditation not granted.

The Accreditation Committee will review the report, then make a decision on initial accreditation. Their decision will be reported to Council, the university and the public.

In June this year, all partners in the first round of pre-service teacher education and an external evaluator will make suggestions about the accreditation process and about how it might be improved or streamlined. The process will be reviewed and, if necessary, altered in each of its first three years until a system is in place that demonstrates fairness, clarity, integrity and accountability.

A full report on this spring’s initial accreditation process and its results will appear in an upcoming issue of Professionally Speaking.

If you would like more information about the accreditation of pre-service teacher education programs in Ontario, or if you have questions about this spring’s review, please write or e-mail the Accreditation Unit at pad@oct.ca   or visit their web site.