A new registry will show information about teachers and teacher leaders dating back to 1954, including their name, the type of certificate they hold and whether it is still valid, and the date they received their certification. The registry will also show disciplinary decisions that resulted in a certificate being suspended or cancelled for unprofessional conduct or professional incompetence dating back to 1990.
The registry will help increase public confidence in the teaching profession by showing that the vast majority of Alberta’s teachers are dedicated professionals in good standing. The registry sends a clear message that the government and teachers care deeply about safe learning environments for students and teacher professionalism.
“The vast majority of our teaching profession upholds the high standards we all have for those entrusted with our children each day. We will balance individual teachers’ rights to privacy and procedural fairness with the public’s right to know when a teacher has been disciplined, resulting in a teaching certificate being suspended or cancelled.”
“With students being the first interest of our members, the college values transparency in sharing information that supports the safety of students and the professionalism of those entrusted in their care.”
“We are pleased to see that the Government of Alberta takes student safety seriously enough to implement up-to-date measures. The online registry will greatly improve transparency relating to unprofessional teacher conduct. Having a registry will increase the accountability of Alberta teachers. It will bring the teaching profession in line with other professional organizations like doctors, pharmacists, nurses and lawyers that already have searchable registries in place. This is another much-needed step in the right direction to ensure all of our children are safe at school and school activities.”
“Alberta is lucky to have incredible educators who work tirelessly to create safe and enriching learning environments. In the rare circumstances where a teacher or teacher leader chooses to abuse their power and has been disciplined as a result, the public has a right to know.”
An online, searchable registry aligns with practices in other Canadian jurisdictions, such as British Columbia, Ontario and Saskatchewan, which share similar information about the status of teaching certificates and disciplinary matters. The registry is also similar to registries for members of other professions in Alberta such as nurses, doctors, lawyers and engineers. Alberta’s registry includes relevant information about serious disciplinary matters while still protecting the privacy of the disciplined individual’s colleagues, students and others who may be involved in the situation.
The registry will launch with information for about 162,000 current and former teachers and teacher leaders, with that number growing as more individuals become certificated. Requests for exemption from the online registry are considered on a case-by-case basis. As set out in the Education Act, exemptions may be granted including in situations where the disclosure of information on the registry:
- is contrary to another law in Alberta or Canada
- goes against an order that has been issued by a court
- could reasonably cause injury or hardship to a person
- On Sept. 1, 2019, professional practice standards came into effect for principals and superintendents, along with a revised standard for teachers. Additionally, two new levels of certification for teacher leaders were introduced: a leadership certificate and a superintendent leadership certificate.
- On Dec. 15, 2021, part of the Students First Act became law, requiring the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) to notify the registrar of all complaints received. On Sept. 1, 2022, the remainder of the Students First Act becomes law to address gaps, issues and inconsistencies in Alberta’s system of oversight and discipline for teachers and teacher leaders.
- On Jan. 1, 2023, the Reforming Teaching Profession Discipline Act will create the Office of the Alberta Teaching Profession Commissioner, separating the teacher disciplinary process from the ATA’s mandate and functions.