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34 Professionally Speaking | March 2017 1 A member's certificate will be automatically revoked if he or she is found to have committed an act of professional misconduct involving sexual abuse of a student, as specified in the Ontario College of Teachers Act, or a prohibited act involving child pornography. 2 Definitions and/or interpretations of "profes- sional misconduct," "prohibited act involving child pornography," and "sexual misconduct" have been added to the Ontario College of Teachers Act. 3 If a person has had a certificate revoked for committing an act of professional misconduct that involved sexual abuse of a student, sexual misconduct or a prohibited act involving child pornography, an application to have a new certificate issued shall not be made earlier than five years from the date the certificate was revoked. 4 Employers are required to provide information within the time period specified in writing by the College or, if no time period is specified, within 30 days of receiving the request. 5 A member is provided with 60 days (or another time frame set by the Investigation Committee) to respond to a complaint. 6 Confidentiality provisions are expanded to, among other things, allow the College to share information with bodies that govern professions inside or outside of Ontario and with a police officer to aid an investigation related to a law enforcement proceeding. 7 If a member has been convicted or found guilty of an offence under the Criminal Code (Canada) for the same conduct or action that is the subject matter of a complaint, the member and the Investigation Committee may agree to fast track the process of sending the matter to the Discipline Committee. 8 If a panel of the Investigation, Discipline or Fitness to Practise committees is hearing or reviewing a matter related to the conduct of a person who was a principal or vice- principal at the time the conduct occurred, the panel must include at least one person who is employed as a principal or a vice- principal, or who was previously employed as a principal or vice-principal and is still a member of the College. 9 In situations where the Discipline Committee may order that the public be excluded from a hearing, the committee may order publication bans of information disclosed at these hearings. 10 The Registrar may appoint an investigator if: (1) the Registrar believes on reasonable and probable grounds that the conduct of the member exposes, or is likely to expose, one or more students to harm or injury, and that the investigator should be appointed immediately; and (2) there is not time to seek approval from the Executive Committee. 11 Summaries of all Discipline Committee decisions must be published in Professionally Speaking/Pour parler profession if the member has been found guilty of professional misconduct or to be incompetent. PS KEY CHANGES TO THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS ACT The Protecting Students Act took effect on December 5, 2016, and includes a number of amendments to the Ontario College of Teachers Act. 11

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