Certification Upgrades and Transfer to QECO
Members are reminded to contact the Certification Department at OSSTF Provincial if they have done any courses over the summer to upgrade their pay group. They can be reached by visiting www.osstf.on.ca and choosing Certification under Quick Links. An important reminder to our members: all certification of members is done through OSSTF which only recognizes Additional Qualifications courses from accredited universities. Make sure that you consult with Certification BEFORE spending money on a course to see if it will be accepted in order to upgrade or to make sure you are following the correct route to change pay groups. For example, at this time the AQ courses offered in the summer through the DDSB will not be accepted for an upgrade in pay group.
Please be advised that steps are underway to transfer OSSTF Certification to the Qualifications Evaluation Council of Ontario (QECO)
OSSTF and QECO certification regulations regarding the placement of teachers in groups or categories are similar, however the charts are not identical. It is possible for some members to be in a different Group or Category in one system than in the other, depending on your academic credentials. These differences may impact your decisions regarding future professional development decisions.
Until further notice, members applying for an OSSTF certification rating statement or re-evaluation must continue to do so using the forms available on the OSSTF website. Certification requests which are not accompanied by a current application form will not be processed. During the transfer and digitization of files, some information may be inaccessible for a number of days. You are encouraged to apply for rating statements and group changes as early as possible. The transfer to QECO will not be complete until Collective Agreements are updated to reflect the change, and we cannot predict what those timelines will be. For more information about QECO certification, visit their website.
For more information and answers to frequently asked questions regarding the move to QECO, please see the June 2019 article in Update, “Did you know that OSSTF/FEESO Certification is moving to QECO?”
Who Does What?
- Universities issue credits and degrees.
- The Ontario College of Teachers issues your Certificate of Qualifications.
- OSSTF determines your pay group through a Certification Rating Statement.
- Your collective agreement with your employer determines your actual pay.
How it works:
- OSSTF determines your pay group based on your academic background and trade records and issues you a Certification Rating Statement (CRS).
- Until Steven Grimes receives your CRS, you will be paid at Group 1, Year 0.
- It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to inform Steven Grimes of your appropriate Group.
Where do I find the OSSTF Certification forms?
- Certification Form #1 for Initial Certification Rating Statement.
- Certification Form #2 for Re-Evaluation.
- Certification Form #3 for Course Approvals.
Steps for Group Upgrading
- Submit form #1 or #2 along with any required documentation to OSSTF.
- Send a Pending Letter to Steven Grimes, Supervisor for Employee Relations at the Board.
- When you receive your new Certification Rating Statement, forward a copy to Steven Grimes, Supervisor for Employee Relations at the Board so that you can be paid at your new rate.
- If you are planning on taking a course in order to upgrade, make sure the course will count before you take it. Simply submit certification form #3 to see if a course will be accepted in order to help you upgrade. The turnaround on this form is faster than a full evaluation and can save you a lot of money.
- Last school day in December: If you finish the course in the summer before school starts be sure to submit your pending letter by the last school day in December to guarantee retro payment back to the start of the school year.
- May 31st: If you finish the course by January 31st be sure to submit your pending letter by May 31st to guarantee retro payment back to the start of semester
Below are some FAQs:
Q: I just finished my Honours Specialist. What happens now?
A: If you have recently taken your Honours specialist you will need to be re-evaluated by provincial OSSTF's certification department in order to obtain a new rating statement. Complete a form #2.
Meanwhile, send a pending letter to Steven Grimes at the DDSB once you have finished your course. The letter should state that you have finished the course and have made application to OSSTF for a new rating statement. See the attachment below for a sample pending letter. Once your rating statement arrives, be sure to submit a copy to the board, then and only then will you receive an increase in pay.
If you finish the course in the summer before school starts be sure to submit your pending letter by the last school day in December to guarantee retro payment back to the start of the school year.
If you finish the course by January 31st, be sure to submit your pending letter by May 31st, to guarantee retro payment back to the start of semester 2.
Q: I would like to take a course to upgrade to the next pay grid. How do I know which course I need?
A: If you are planning on taking a course in order to upgrade, make sure the course will count before you take it. Simply submit certification form #3 to see if a course will be accepted in order to help you upgrade. The turnaround on this form is faster than a full evaluation and can save you a lot of money.
Remember: once you receive your new certification statement from Provincial OSSTF, you must submit this to the Board otherwise there will be no record of your new rating and you will not be paid accordingly!