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38 GOVERNING OURSELVES Professionally Speaking March 2021 College News Keeping you connected to your profession. PHOTOS: (THIS PAGE) iSTOCK; (OPPOSITE PAGE - TOP) ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS; (BOT TOM) iSTOCK STRONGER STUDENT PROTECTIONS These changes enhance existing measures to support student safety and well-being. Key elements of the legislation include: • stronger penalties and broader definitions for acts of professional misconduct related to sexual abuse and child pornography. Members found guilty of professional miscon- duct consisting of sexually abusing a student, an act of child pornography, or a prescribed sexual act that involves a student, are no longer eligible to apply for reinstatement. • retroactively revoking a member's certificate if the Discipline Commit- tee previously found the member guilty of professional misconduct consisting of sexual abuse or an act of child pornography, and the committee did not order revocation, or ordered revocation but the certificate was later reinstated. • keeping all disciplinary decisions on the College's register public, including: � findings of professional negligence made against a member; � findings of professional miscon- duct or incompetence made against the member by another professional regulator; and � any findings related to the mem- ber's suitability to practise. • expanding the College's counselling and therapy program to provide funding for students who allege being involved in a prescribed sexual act, in addition to those who allege having been sexually abused by teachers or involved in child pornography. • making it possible for a College Committee to order mandatory medical assessments during the investigation stage to ensure matters will be referred to the appropriate adjudicative committee. • developing a proactive sexual abuse prevention program that will have: � an educational requirement for College members; � guidelines for the conduct of members with students; � training for College staff; and � provision of information to the public. COLLEGE GOVERNANCE The legislation also evolves the College's governance structure to operate more efficiently and effectively. Council will have fewer members, allowing it to be more nimble. Committees will be composed of individuals who are not Council members, meaning that overall, a greater number of individuals will be involved in the work of the College. A roster of panellists will also work with committee members on panels for statutory and regulatory committees. This allows for better representation and diversity, throughout. Some of the specif- ic legislative changes to governance are: • dedicated Council and committee members — Council members may only serve on Council, while commit- tee members may only serve on their respective committees; • a reduced Council size, from 37 to 18, with equal representation from New Legislation Enhances Student Safety and Well-Being The provincial government has passed legislation to amend the College's Act that further safeguards students and modernizes the operations of the College. If you'd like to learn more about these legislative changes, or if you're interested in applying for a role on Council, a commiee or a roster, please visit oct-oeeo.ca/application. members of the profession and the public; and • a selection process for Council and committee members from a diverse group of individuals, with attributes and competencies to govern the teaching profession in the public interest. To help facilitate these changes, Paul Boniferro has been appointed to the role of Transition Supervisory Officer. To enable the College to carry on its work in the interim, a roster of eligible, qualified panellists will be established immediately to serve on the Accreditation, Accreditation Appeals, Discipline, Fitness to Practise, Investigation and Registra- tion Appeals committees. Recruit- ment for Council and other commit- tees will begin later this year. PS

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