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.


Accreditation Program Officer Tory Handford, OCT (standing), with attendees at a workshop for Additional Qualification course developers at Brock University

Workshops for AQ providers

This is a win-win situation, Rosemary Hunter tells her colleagues – Additional Qualification (AQ) course developers at Brock University's faculty of education.

Hunter, whose experience in education spans five decades, is talking about the accreditation application process and a stronger collaborative relationship with the Ontario College of Teachers.

The College accredits all AQ courses offered in the province. The successful completion of an AQ is recorded on a member's Certificate of Qualification and Registration. In 2010, 43,749 AQ courses were successfully completed by members of the College.

Earlier this year, members of the College's accreditation unit participated in workshops for course developers – one at Brock, one at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). Both are providers of AQ courses. These new sessions offered course developers the opportunity to ask College staff questions and share ideas in an informal setting.

"Accreditation can be a daunting and intimidating process," Hunter said, following the workshop at Brock. "But this time we feel that the College is working with us. No one came in and told us what to do or tried to fix us. They rolled up their sleeves and worked shoulder to shoulder with us.

"The workshop really helped us move through the process, and I felt that the College and the university were very welcoming and easy to approach," said Colleen Horner, OCT, a communications technology teacher at Maxwell Heights SS in Oshawa who co-developed AQ courses for UOIT. "We did have questions while writing our course, and the workshop gave us a better understanding of the expectations. What I also got out of it was knowing there were real people to talk to who were willing to help."

Working together builds trust and strengthens communication, says Janis Leonard, OCT, Manager of Accreditation at the College. And the quality of applications improves significantly.

"Course developers play a critical role in teacher education. You get to share your expertise, your wisdom and your experience. What you do is powerful," Leonard told attendees at the Brock workshop.

"Although teachers receive a quality initial teacher education, ongoing professional learning helps them meet the ever-changing challenges they face."

The College's willingness to assist course developers and work alongside them has opened up a dialogue and created a wonderful collaboration, says Hunter.

Randy Hill, who oversees accreditation applications at Brock, recognizes the importance of continuous improvement. Demonstrating how AQ courses meet regulatory requirements has affirmed the quality of teaching at Brock.

"Over the fall we developed the new Kindergarten course using a new course template designed collaboratively with the College," says Hill. "Working with the College has made an incredible difference."

The College, says Hunter, "is doing what we do as teachers. It is modelling its own standards. It is saying, 'Let's work together, so we can both do better.' "

In a presentation to her colleagues, Hunter shared the Kindergarten course template that she helped develop. Course developers will use the template for upcoming accreditation applications.

This will work," says course developer Patricia Behrend. "And it will make me a better teacher."