OCT OEEO

PS_June_2021

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42 GOVERNING OURSELVES Professionally Speaking June 2021 College News Keeping you connected to your profession. PHOTO: iSTOCK I n May, the College sought input on implementing changes that were recently made to the Ontario College of Teachers Act. A consultation carried out through questionnaires and conducted online, asked for responses from a range of College members, stakeholders and interested groups. The consultation responses will help provide additional information to assist the College in clarifying and imple- menting requirements that were first described in Bill 229, Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020. The bill, which received royal assent in December 2020, made several changes to the Ontario College of Teachers Act. With these changes now law, the College used the consultation to ask for input on how changes will be formulated and carried out. Consultation materials were sent to a random sample of Ontario Certified Teachers. Provincial stakeholder organizations received similar back- ground and questionnaire materials and were invited to provide their input. "With Bill 229 as law, we are looking ahead to a swift and informed implementation of the changes that are so important for modernized College structures," said College Registrar and CEO Dr. Derek Haime, OCT. "Hearing from our members and our sector partners was critical to making sure we do this effectively and maintain clear lines of sight to our public interest role." The consultation asked respondents questions about options the College could consider when implementing various parts of the bill, and explored program details across different topics. The consultation also asked about regulations that will be made in order to fully implement all parts of the chan- ges. The responses received assisted the Transition Supervisory Officer in the finalization of new regulations and bylaws to help the College operate more efficiently and effectively. Some of the changes to the College made possible by Bill 229's passage include: • requirements for a new governance structure; • requirements for a sexual abuse prevention education program for members; and • mandatory reporting of offences, charges, bail conditions or other restrictions. The College plans to fully implement the new governance model, a sexual abuse prevention program, mandatory reporting, and other related initiatives in 2021 and early 2022. PS T he recently introduced Bill 229, the Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020, amended the Ontario College of Teachers Act to include new reporting obligations for College members for (1) offences and (2) charges, bail conditions or other restrictions. These reporting obliga- tions took effect on December 8, 2020, and are set out below. Failure to comply with these reporting obliga- tions may be considered to be profes- sional misconduct. The College consulted with College members and the public in May to inform the implementation of the member reporting obligations noted above. It is important to note that the College is required to post on the public register current or previous criminal proceedings involving a member that are relevant to their membership, including any undertakings of the member in relation to the proceeding. The public register must also contain any restrictions imposed on a member's eligibility to teach by an order of a court or other lawful authority, including the name and location of the court or authority, and the date the order was made. OFFENCES College members shall file a report in writing with the Registrar if they have been found guilty of an offence. The report shall be filed as soon as reasonably practicable after the member receives notice of the finding of guilt. College Engages in Stakeholder Consultation New Reporting Obligations for College Members

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