*2023 Results: Approx. 99% of Mark Zinck's clients avoided a criminal record (conviction) for charges of theft, fraud, assault, mischief and threats.

Teacher Defence Lawyer for OCT Professional Misconduct Complaints, Investigations, and Discipline Hearings

Teachers in Ontario are governed by the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) which acts as the province’s regulatory body for the profession. Anyone wanting to work in a public school as teacher must be licensed by the OCT. Teachers are required to follow all OCT rules and regulations. Sometimes teachers are the subject of complaints of professional misconduct which can lead to compliance investigations and disciplinary action being taken. If any professional misconduct is found or you are determined to be practicing while unlicensed, your career could be put at risk.

The OCT has the power to investigate potential claims of misconduct that arise from complaints from students, parents, members of the public, and other teachers. Sometimes disciplinary action is taken as a result of criminal charges being laid or upon the completion of a class or school inspection that can be conducted at any time. If any professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity is found your designation could be put at risk. This can include mistakes, ethics violations, fraud, child abuse, sexual misconduct or a lack of mandatory reporting or self-reporting compliance.

Since all public school teachers must be authorized by OCT to teach, losing OCT credentials or having restrictions placed on your practice can have a devastating impact on your career and future employability/earning potential.

It is easy to be accused of professional misconduct because filing a complaint with the OCT is an easy process available to anyone.

It is relatively easy to be subject to a OCT complaint as the regulator encourages members of the public to submit complaints on their website, see: https://www.oct.ca/parents/complaints-and-discipline/submit-expression-of-concern.

Once a complaint is filed the OCT has a mandate to investigate it. The teacher will be asked to provide supporting documentation and allow access to their books and records for analysis. The complaint may then be elevated to a hearing or tribunal to hear evidence, witness testimony, and evaluate whether sanctions are warranted.

Potential penalties resulting from OCT investigations and class/school inspections

OCT discipline hearings, appeals and judicial reviews can have a devastating impact on a teacher's career if not handled properly.

OCT's registrar and discipline committee have broad powers to discipline teachers who are found to have violated the Education Act, such as:
  1. Reprimands, cautions, and warnings
  2. Revoke the teacher's Membership Diploma, Membership Card and/or Registration Certificate
  3. Impose terms, limitations or conditions on the teacher's Certificate of Registration
  4. Disallowing the teacher from teaching
  5. Report the teacher in the public "blue pages"
  6. Pay fines and restitution for 3rd party losses
  7. Provide funding for sexual abuse counselling
  8. Undertake rehabilitation counseling
  9. Work under the supervision of other teachers
  10. Undergo school and class inspections
  11. Loss of the permission to use any designations related to being a public school teacher in Ontario.
  12. Refer the matter to the police for a criminal investigation to take place, particularly in cases where sexual assault or abuse is alleged
OCT hearings and discipline proceedings are also open to the public meaning the teacher’s reputation is put at risk. The result of the proceedings will be published online and may show up in online searches for the teacher’s name or school. Having a history of disciplinary action or complaints can damage the teacher’s reputation which can cause them to lose existing students (or job opportunities) and scare off new ones.

Any investigation by the OCT is an extremely serious matter that a teacher must successfully respond to.

Ignoring the complaint is not an option as teachers are required to respond, produce documents, and fully cooperate with the investigation along with any subsequent hearings, tribunals, and appeals. If you or your practice is the subject of a OCT complaint, investigation, or hearing, it is in your best interest to hire a lawyer to help you respond to and defend the claims being made against you. You may be targeted for something that is standard practice or behaviour that was reasonable in the circumstances.

A lawyer can help you formulate your best possible response to OCT which is the first step in having the complaint against you (hopefully) dismissed. This is a process that often requires substantial research of the applicable statutes, regulations and generally accepted education work practices along with prior case precedents that may demonstrate you did nothing wrong or that any mistakes, errors, or omissions made do not warrant significant sanctions being placed on you or your practice.

While it is best to obtain legal representation from the beginning of the complaint process, it is also essential that you have legal representation if your matter has already been elevated to a hearing or tribunal, or you need to appeal a decision via a judicial review or action in the court of appeal. Whether you have just been notified that you are the subject of a complaint or your matter has been ongoing for quite some time, give us a call today for assistance and a free no obligation quote.

   Call us today.

You don't have to jeopardize your future or waste thousands of dollars on excessive legal fees. We provide effective and affordable lawyer representation for those facing professional regulatory body complaints and investigations throughout Ontario, Canada.

Have a skilled lawyer represent you and protect your professional license, standing, and reputation.

    call now: 647-228-5969


Your case will be defended by a fully licensed Practicing Lawyer of the Law Society of Ontario. Please see our Terms & Conditions of Use here.

We provide our clients with:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Experienced, focused counsel

* Please note:

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance about avoiding jail and/or a criminal record, employment background checks, IRCC/immigration applications and status, or travel to the U.S. in the future. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed.

Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only. Not all cases are handled personally by Mark Zinck, nor does Mark Zinck warrant to be an expert in or practice in all areas of law and topics discussed on this website including, but not limited to, civil, administrative, and/or regulatory law.

*2023 Results: the percentage of 99% of clients avoiding a criminal record (conviction) stated on this page is based solely on Lawyer Mark Zinck's personal representation of approximately 2000 criminal defence case clients as of the year 2023. Past results are not necessarily an indication of future results.


Your questions and concerns are extremely important to me.


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   Criminal Information:

   We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice and services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • A clear goal of getting the charges dropped without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Timely resolutions
  • Lawyer/client privilege
  • Experienced, focused counsel