Verbal Caution Policy
To ensure that the College of Early Childhood Educators (the “College”) carries out its primary duty of serving and protecting the public interest as mandated under the authority of the Early Childhood Educators Act (the “Act”), while making reasonable efforts to ensure that individuals required to appear before the Complaints Committee are not subjected to undue hardship. In cases where an individual establishes that personally attending the verbal caution would cause undue hardship, the Complaints Committee may permit alternative arrangements.
This policy applies to individuals who are required to appear before the Complaints Committee to be cautioned.
This policy does not apply to requests for accommodation based on disability. Requests for accommodation based on disability will be addressed under the College’s Accessibility Standards Policy.
Section 31(5) of the Act sets out the types of decisions that the College’s Complaints Committee can make. One of those decisions can include requiring the individual complained against to appear before the Complaints Committee to be cautioned.
The College expects individuals to appear in person at the College to receive verbal cautions. In most cases, the College’s position will be that failure to do so constitutes professional misconduct under the Professional Misconduct Regulation.
In exceptional circumstances, the panel of the Complaints Committee which issued the decision (the “Panel”) may permit alternative arrangements to an individual who requests it. Such arrangements are only available in cases where the individual establishes that personally attending the verbal caution would cause undue hardship. The fact that it may be inconvenient for an individual to personally attend a verbal caution or there may be a cost involved in doing so does not automatically mean that an individual would experience undue hardship.
An individual requesting alternative arrangements may make written submissions to the Panel explaining why personal attendance would cause the individual undue hardship and what alternative arrangements the individual would need.
The submissions are considered by the Panel. The Panel then decides whether to permit alternative arrangements and, if so, what those arrangements would be.
The College will make reasonable efforts to provide the individual with the Panel’s written decision in a timely way. The decision of the Panel is final.
In each case, the Panel’s decision must be based on the unique facts of the case.
In making its decision, the Panel may consider factors including:
- the purpose and desired effect of the verbal caution delivered in person by an individual’s peers
- gravity of the Panel’s concerns regarding the individual’s conduct
- importance of ensuring that the Panel’s message is sufficiently impactful to the individual
- the personal circumstances of the individual