Effective September 1, 2022, Bill 85 amended the Education Act by adding a requirement to have updated criminal records and vulnerable sector checks. Section 2(7) of Bill 85 amended the Education Act by adding section 229.1, Criminal Record and Vulnerable Sector Checks. Bill 85 applies to those whose employment requires a certificate of qualification as a teacher, a leadership certificate or a superintendent leadership certificate. The legislation requires that the checks be completed by January 1, 2024 and must be updated every five years.
All school divisions must enforce the legislation and are required to ensure the results of those checks demonstrate that the teacher continues to be suitable for employment in their position. Failure to provide the necessary checks by the deadline imposed by the legislation, without some clear and demonstrable proof of the steps taken to obtain them, may result in a member encountering significant issues related to their employment relationship with their division. Teachers must comply with the legislation by providing the checks, even if their division has not offered a method or system to address the requirements.
Teachers do not have to incur the cost of the five-year criminal record check. Many divisions have worked with local law enforcement detachments to provide opportunities for members to obtain the checks. However, teachers who cannot provide the checks due to loss of the documents or failure to pick up or download them by the issuing agency’s deadline or starting new employment will be responsible for the cost of the initial check or its reissuance.
If you have a criminal conviction (or charge, subject to the terms of your employment contract) and failed to report this to your division, you should seek the advice of Teacher Employment Services (1-800-232-7208). In this situation, most members would benefit from proactively addressing the issue with their division rather than waiting until their updated criminal record and vulnerable sector check is submitted.
The deadline of January 1, 2024, is fast approaching for compliance with the Education Act to provide updated criminal and vulnerable sector checks. Teachers need to provide the checks to their division by the deadline to avoid potential issues. Contact Teacher Employment Services for more assistance. #WEAREATA
Updates from ATA Provincial