TORONTO, Aug. 20 /CNW/ - Ontario's largest regulatory body has launched a
review to ensure that its licensing process is transparent, objective,
impartial and fair to internationally educated applicants and others.
The Ontario College of Teachers will examine existing practices, identify
effective and promising procedures and reflect the voices of those most
affected by its decisions - recently licensed teachers and unsuccessful
Since 1999, the College has granted Ontario licences to more than 16,800
teachers from more than 100 countries outside Canada.
"We hope that by working with internationally educated teachers and
education stakeholders we can improve our process while continuing to uphold
Ontario's high standards for teacher certification," says College Registrar
"We've made tremendous strides in the last few years to welcome
internationally educated teachers, but we're always keen to learn how we can
To teach in a publicly funded school or school system in Ontario,
teachers must first become members of the Ontario College of Teachers. The
College sets the academic, professional and language proficiency requirements
for an Ontario teaching licence.
Over the next few months, the College will speak with teachers, community
groups and sector representatives to identify possible improvements in its
practices and to address statutory and regulatory obligations.
Among a range of issues, the College will look at the amount and clarity
of information it provides to applicants, the length of time it takes to
become certified, how qualifications are assessed, fees, reasons for denying
certification, the appeal process, training and records access.
"The College must ensure that it makes clear what the requirements are
for full documentation of credentials. The College must also assist applicants
by ensuring they know where to get the documents they require. Finally,
applicants must know how the College can assist them in obtaining documents by
inquiring on their behalf with academic and licensing bodies of other
countries", says Don Cattani, Chair of the College's Council. "Ontario
students deserve the best teachers available and it's our job to ensure that
our registration process welcomes good teachers from within Ontario, across
Canada and around the world."
In 2006, the provincial government passed Bills 78 and 124, amending the
Ontario College of Teachers Act and requiring the development of new
Bill 78, the Education Statute Law Amendment Act (Student Performance),
amended the College of Teachers Act to require that "any decisions made with
respect to an applicant are transparent to and understandable by that
applicant, with due respect to his or her individual circumstances."
Bill 124, Fair Access to Regulated Professions aims to provide for
registration practices that are transparent, objective, fair and impartial.
The Ontario College of Teachers currently supports internationally
educated applicants via:
- walk-in, telephone and e-mail support
- individual meetings to discuss specific application issues
- letters sent to institutions as appropriate, with written permission
of the applicant
- consultation with embassies, consulates, ministries and departments of
education, and universities to help applicants with the issuance of
- ongoing research and staff training on educational systems around the
- a continuously updated web site database to help applicants understand
and navigate the application process
- four information sessions each month to explain how to apply, how to
obtain documents, what to do if they've been denied certification, how
to turn interim certificates into permanent licences and how to apply
- and regular meetings with community and other agencies that support
newcomers to Ontario.
The College is also a partner in Teach in Ontario, a bridging program
that assists internationally educated teachers in meeting language proficiency
and other certification requirements, and in seeking teaching jobs.
The Ontario College of Teachers licenses, governs and regulates the
profession of teaching in the public interest. It sets standards of practice
and ethical standards, conducts disciplinary hearings and accredits teacher
education programs affecting more than 210,000 members in publicly funded
schools and institutions across Ontario. The College is the largest
self-regulatory body in Canada.
For further information:
For further information: Brian Jamieson, (416) 961-8800, ext. 655,
Toll-free 1-888-534-2222, ext. 655