Governing Ourselves

Governing Ourselves informs members of legal and regulatory matters affecting the profession. This section provides updates on licensing and qualification requirements, notification of Council resolutions and reports from various Council committees, including reports on accreditation and discipline matters.


The College investigates and considers complaints about members that relate to alleged professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity. If the Investigation Committee concludes that a complaint does not relate to one of those three matters or is frivolous, vexatious or an abuse of process, it does not proceed with the complaint.

Approximately four out of five complaints are not referred to the Discipline Committee but are dismissed or resolved by other means. Examples of cases considered by the Investigation Committee and not referred to a hearing are provided here.

Case #1

Complaint: Inappropriate comments to a student
Outcome of investigation: Complaint not investigated because it does not relate to professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity

A parent complained to the College that a member had made inappropriate comments to his Grade 7 child. The parent indicated that his child and another student were calling each other “fruits” and “gay” and that one student typed on a computer that the other student was gay. As a result, the complainant’s child was sent to the office. The parent stated that the acting principal, in speaking with his son, had made comments to the effect that it was okay to be gay, that three out of 10 students were gay, that the teacher had gay friends and that the teacher had a close relative who was gay.

The College can only investigate complaints that relate to alleged professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity. If the Investigation Committee concludes that a complaint does not relate to one of those three matters, it must refuse to investigate the complaint.

After carefully considering the allegations, the panel formed the view that the complaint, even if proven true, did not relate to professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity and, as a result, should not be investigated. The panel was of the opinion that the comments alleged to have been made by the member were not inappropriate in the context of responding to inappropriate language used by students.

Case #2

Complaint: Physical abuse of a student
Outcome of investigation: Not referred and no further action

An employer informed the College that a member had been charged with assaulting a student. Consequently, the Registrar filed a complaint against the member.

The College’s investigation indicated that the charges were later withdrawn and that the member had signed a peace bond in which he agreed to have no further contact with the student. The member was removed from that classroom during the police and board investigation but was not disciplined as a result of the incident.

In response to the complaint, the member stated that the student, who had significant behaviour difficulties, had been taken to a separate room to be calmed by a colleague who was assigned to work uniquely with that student. The member indicated that the student had then climbed on a piece of furniture, thrown a large object at staff, yelled obscenities and kicked a piece of furniture. Fearing that the student would hurt himself, the member pulled the student away, which resulted in the student trying to kick the member. Eventually, the member took the student by the forearms and restrained him.

The panel reviewed the information gathered during the investigation and determined that the information before it was sufficiently inconsistent — for example, in terms of the description of events provided by witnesses — that it was appropriate to take no further action. Although the member acknowledged making physical contact with the student, the panel concluded that the interaction was appropriate in the circumstances, to ensure the student’s safety.

Case #3

Complaint: Inappropriate conduct with students
Outcome of investigation: Admonishment in person

The Registrar filed a complaint on being informed by an employer that a member had stared at the chests of female students and asked them to unzip their sweaters. The employer also reported that the member had shared inappropriate personal information with students and had intentionally invaded the personal space of some students by standing near them in ways that made them uncomfortable. Students also reported that the member’s attention was focused on female students to the exclusion of male students.

In response to the complaint from the Registrar, the member explained that during a learning activity he did request that students unzip their hooded sweaters, but he denied staring at the chests of female students or asking them to lean forward. The member did acknowledge having made inappropriate statements pertaining to his personal life. On the matter of invading the personal space of students, the member denied the allegation and described contexts that could have led to students misinterpreting his actions.

The panel reviewed the documentation obtained during the investigation and was of the view that information from the employer, students and the member’s own submission indicated that the member had made a number of inappropriate comments and had demonstrated inappropriate behaviour in the classroom.

The panel noted that the employer had also provided documentation indicating that the member has previously been subject to employer disciplinary measures for his conduct and lack of professionalism. The panel was concerned about what appeared to be a pattern of inappropriate behaviour, which the member might not recognize nor seem able to change. The panel also noted that students reported being made to feel uncomfortable as a result of the member’s alleged actions.

For the reasons set out above, the panel directed that the member be admonished in person at the offices of the College regarding the conduct alleged in the complaint.

Oral admonishments are delivered in person by members of the Investigation Committee. This process is not open to the public, and only committee members and the member are present.