Effective September 1, 2022, Bill 85 amended the Education Act by adding
Criminal record and vulnerable sector checks
The entirety of section 2 of Bill 85 was proclaimed into force by Order in Council 224/2022, effective September 1, 2022. Section 2(7) of Bill 85 amends 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.
Alberta teachers have long been required to provide criminal record and vulnerable sector checks to their school division upon hiring. However, this legislative change demands that the individual teacher now provide these documents every five years, and the board must be satisfied that the results of those checks demonstrate that the teacher continues to be suitable for employment in their position.
If you have not provided a criminal record and vulnerable sector check to your division in the last five years, you will be required to do so within 16 months of this new section coming into force. Some divisions, however, may require teachers to comply sooner than the 16-month legislative deadline of January 1, 2024.
Teachers should not have to incur the cost of the five-year criminal record checks. The last round of central table negotiations achieved reimbursement of the cost by the division to teachers. This appears in the Mediator’s Recommended Terms of Settlement, ratified on June 10, 2022. However, teachers starting new employment are still responsible for the cost of the initial check.
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.
Legislative changes in Bill 85 now require that teachers provide an updated criminal record and vulnerable sector check to their division every five years after their initial submission. Divisions, however, must reimburse teachers for this cost. If you have questions or concerns regarding your current status, you should seek the advice of Teacher Employment Services (1‑800‑232‑7208). #WEAREATA
Updates from ATA Provincial