Investigating a concern
Investigators will investigate and assess whether a teacher has engaged in misconduct on behalf of the Complaints Assessment Committee.
If the Triage Committee decides to refer a report, complaint or make an own motion referral about a teacher to the Complaints Assessment Committee (CAC), investigators working on behalf of the CAC will investigate the allegations.
The teacher involved will be told of the investigation, advised to seek representation through their union, a lawyer or advocate and given a chance to provide any relevant evidence and comment on the information the investigator has been given. The teacher’s current employer will also be informed.
The investigator will write a report when all relevant information is gathered.
A copy of the finished report and relevant information will be given to the teacher, who may also provide a response on the report and any of the collated information before it goes to the CAC.
Complaints Assessment Committee (CAC) and outcomes
The case will then go to a CAC panel. A CAC panel usually consists of three experienced, registered teachers from a range of sectors (ECE, primary and secondary) and a lay person. Initial enquiries are made of the teacher and proposed members to ensure no conflicts of interest exist.
The panel will consider the report and the teacher’s response.
Teachers are encouraged to meet and interview with the CAC panel in person or via video conference. A te reo Māori speaker is available if required. The CAC panel can also hear from other individuals.
The CAC can decide on one or more of the following actions:
- No further action
- Further investigation: if the CAC needs more information it can refer the issue back to the investigator
- Agreements around misconduct: if the CAC finds there has been misconduct but not serious misconduct it can resolve the matter by an agreement with the teacher and the initiator of the report or complaint. The agreement can include:
- Conditions on practising certificate – for example, supervision or professional development
- Suspension of the teacher’s practising certificate for a time or until they’ve met some speciﬁc conditions
- Annotation on the online Teachers’ Register by recording a brief note against the teacher’s registration or authority to teach—this is usually done as an additional step to publicly note the censure, conditions or other disciplinary measures imposed
- Direct the Teaching Council to put speciﬁc conditions on any future practising certiﬁcate the teacher is given
- Competence review: if the CAC thinks there are issues with the teacher’s competence it can refer the case to a Professional Practice Evaluator
- Impairment: if the CAC thinks a health or other issue could be affecting the teacher’s work, if can refer the teacher to an impairment process.
- Referral to Disciplinary Tribunal: if the CAC believes the case may possibly involve serious misconduct, it must refer the case to the Tribunal.