Status: The Education (Reforming Teacher Profession Discipline) Amendment Act received royal assent on May 31, 2022
Ministry responsible: Education
The Education (Reforming Teacher Profession Discipline) Amendment Act (formerly Bill 15) creates the Alberta Teaching Profession Commission and appoints an arm’s-length commissioner to oversee teacher and teacher leader conduct and competency complaints for the profession. This process would apply equally to all teacher and teacher leaders under the Education Act.
The Commission would oversee a new model for teacher and teacher leader professionalism and disciplinary matters that would bring Alberta in line with best practices used in comparable provinces and other regulated professions. Parents can be assured the new Commission would further protect students and enhance accountability and transparency.
The act builds on our recent work to strengthen the teaching profession. Important previous steps have included:
- introducing new professional practice standards for the teaching profession and new leadership certifications (2019)
- establishing the College of Alberta School Superintendents as a legislated professional organization (Spring 2021)
- passing the Students First Act (Fall 2021)
The Education (Reforming Teacher Profession Discipline) Amendment Act amends both the Education Act and the Teaching Profession Act. The act also amends and proclaims sections of the Students First Act and the College of Alberta School Superintendents Act (CASS Act) to:
- create an Office of the Commissioner to give the commissioner authority to oversee a significant part of the process for complaints of alleged unprofessional conduct and professional incompetence made against any Alberta certificated teacher or teacher leader
- lead to greater accountability, public assurance, and consistency in addressing complaints under one legislated governance structure by the commissioner’s office
- make the registrar, who is already established and operating within Alberta Education, responsible for the intake of all complaints
- give the Alberta Teaching Profession Commissioner the authority to address and investigate a complaint and determine the most appropriate course of action to take regarding a complaint
- enhance the teacher and teacher leader registry to include consent resolution agreements and all decisions where there is a finding of unprofessional conduct or professional incompetence
- combine the effectiveness of the commissioner model in British Columbia and some arm’s-length features of Saskatchewan’s Teacher Regulatory Board such as posting upcoming hearing dates to ensure greater transparency
- set out in regulation processes related to how current complaints will be transitioned from the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) and the registrar’s office to the new commissioner ensuring procedural fairness in completing these matters
- reinforce requirements for stakeholders in the education system such as the registrar, commissioner, ATA, CASS and employers to report to police where there may have been serious harm or a threat to student safety
For more information, read the Reforming Teacher Profession Discipline fact sheet (PDF, 365 KB)
Transitional regulations will ensure a smooth shift from the current system of teacher and teacher leader professionalism to the new commissioner model.
- For discipline matters that are underway when the new act takes effect, transitional regulations will allow, throughout the first half of 2023, for matters to continue in accordance with the rules under which they were started.
- During this transitional period, the responsibilities will shift, where appropriate, to the commissioner and newly appointed members of hearing and appeal committees, but the previous rules will be followed. This will allow for procedural fairness while also ensuring an efficient transition into a fully operational single model for teacher and teacher leader professionalism in Alberta.
To further ensure a smooth transition, the timelines for proclamation will vary.
- Consequential amendments to the CASS Act and Students First Act for non-operational provisions will come into force upon royal assent. These items deal primarily with consequential changes such as the discipline process under the CASS Act that will not be enabled.
- Regulatory work for transitional provisions and remaining details for the proposed model will commence in spring 2022.
- The new proposed disciplinary model set out under the direction of the Alberta Teaching Profession Commissioner will come into force on January 1, 2023.
- Keeping students safe: Reforming the disciplinary process (March 31, 2022)
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