Discipline Process: Hearing
Citation for a hearing
A citation is a public document issued by the Commissioner for Teacher Regulation. It lists the allegations against the teacher that will be the subject of a public hearing. Allegations in a citation are unproven until the hearing panel has reached a final decision.
If a citation is issued:
- The person who made the complaint is notified
- The date, time and place of the public hearing are posted online
A public hearing is similar to a court proceeding. It's an opportunity for a hearing panel to hear evidence and testimony relevant to the allegations set out against a teacher. Allegations in a citation are unproven until a hearing panel has determined their validity.
Hearing and panel decisions are open to the public unless that would cause a significant hardship to a person who was harmed by the teacher.
Attending a Hearing
Notification of a hearing is posted online 10 days before it's scheduled to happen. Unless otherwise indicated, all public hearings are held at the Ministry of Education, Suite 400, 2025 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. between 9:30am and 4:00pm.
Before the hearing
If you would like to attend a hearing, complete the Visitor Reservation Form.
The public can be excluded from all or part of a hearing (see section 61(2) of the Teachers Act).
Remember to check for online updates before attending a hearing – right up to the start of the hearing – because dates and times can change or the hearing may be cancelled.
Protocol at the hearing
Individuals who do not comply with these requirements may be denied access to the hearing.
When you arrive: Sign in at the reception desk and fill out a confirmation that you have read and understand the public hearing protocol. If you arrive late, you will not be allowed to enter the hearing room once the proceeding has begun. You will be given a visitor pass that you must display at all times.
Seating: There are 10 seats for visitors who reserve online before the hearing. Standing during the hearing is not allowed. Once the room is full, visitors can wait in the reception area in case a seat becomes available.
Privacy and confidentiality: If the hearing panel chooses to make all or part of any hearing private, all visitors will be asked to leave the hearing room. Anyone attending a hearing must cannot disclose or reveal the identity of any witness or the names of anyone that appears in evidence who is under the age of 19.
Etiquette: Food is not permitted in the hearing room or reception area. Talking is not permitted during the proceedings. Everyone is asked to leave the hearing room during all breaks. Access to other areas of the Ministry of Education is not allowed.
At the end of each day: You will need to sign out and return your visitor passes at the reception desk.
Electronic devices: Any device that can transmit and/or recording data or audio (i.e. smartphones, cellular phones, computers, laptops, tablets, notebooks, personal digital assistants) is allowed in the hearing room as long as it's done discreetly and follows these rules:
- The device does not interfere with the court sound system or other technology
- The device does not interfere with hearing room decorum or impede the administration of justice
- Using the device does not make noise or require speaking
- You cannot take photographs or videos
- You cannot record or digitally transcribe the proceedings, except that accredited media may use electronic devices to audio record a proceeding for the purpose of verifying their notes and for no other purpose
- Nothing in this policy affects the authority of the Hearing Chair to determine what, if any, use can be made of electronic devices in the hearing room.
How Hearing Panels are Appointed
The outcome of a hearing is determined by a hearing panel. The Commissioner pulls panelists from the Disciplinary and Professional Conduct Board and may also appoint members of the public to a sit on hearing panels as appropriate.