For at least 20 years, CASS has operated as a professional organization dedicated to regulating the professional conduct of members. Membership in CASS during this time has been voluntary. In the event that a CASS member was to be subject to a professional hearing and a disciplinary sanction was to follow, any action taken would have no employment ramifications and would only impact the ability of an individual to have membership in CASS.
With the CASS Act being introduced in 2022, the legislation was originally written with the intent of CASS having a legal mandate to regulate the conduct of members and potentially make decisions in this area that could have impact upon a member’s ability to be a member of CASS, retain certification, and sustain employment as a system education leader with a school authority.
In March 2022, the decision of the ministry to introduce Bill 15, The Education (Reforming Teacher Profession Discipline) Amendment Act, has now established a new professional discipline model under the Education Act. Bill 15 has now amended both the Education Act and the Teaching Profession Act. The bill also amended and proclaimed sections of the Students First Act and the College of Alberta School Superintendents Act (CASS Act). The model for professional discipline in Bill 15 will now ensure all teachers and teacher leaders (including superintendents) in Alberta are subject to the same disciplinary system under an arm’s-length Commissioner model.
Given this new reality, CASS’ most important legislated mandate will be providing a continuing education program for its regulated members. Once this program is fully developed and implemented, the College will play a critical role in assuring to the public that its members grow professionally within a rigorous, comprehensive, and discernment-based application of professional practice standards and their related competencies.
In order to facilitate this new shift in focus, the CASS Board voted by resolution that effective June 2022, all existing administrative procedures related to conduct and competency of its members be rescinded. Existing processes through which a member of the public may issue a complaint associated with the competency or conduct of an out-of-scope system education leader where the complainant would want ongoing certification and employment to come into question is addressed as described through the Alberta Teaching Profession Commission.