QCT (Teachers)

The Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) has the power to undertake investigations to assess whether teachers, schools and various authorities are complying with the Education (Queensland College of Teachers) Act 2005 (Qld) (the Act). The Act has general objectives the includes, establishing QCT as a governing body of the profession, ensuring the highest standard of teaching in schools, and protecting the public by ensuring education in schools is dispensed in a professional and competent way by approved teachers. The QCT largely deals with complaints regarding a teacher’s conduct or incompetence and other contraventions of the Act.

Immediate Action

The QCT advises that many concerns can be resolved efficiently and effectively through the teacher’s employer or supervisor (e.g. Education Queensland) and therefore, wherever possible, complaints should be directed to the employing body at first instance. Where the alleged misconduct is so severe to negate participating in this step or an adequate solution is not offered, a complaint should be made to QCT in writing, using their complaint form, containing details about the allegation/s.

Formal Investigation

The QCT may undertake an investigation on the basis of information received where they believe that grounds for disciplinary action against a teacher may exist. These grounds include, but are not limited to, issues with a teacher’s competency, standard of behaviour, criminal convictions, or failure to comply with the Act or registration requirements (as per s 92 of the Act).

The investigation process is conducted by an investigator appointed by the QCT. As soon as practicable, the QCT must inform the relevant teacher a complaint has been made. However, if there are reasonable grounds to believe this would prejudice the investigation, place the complainant or any other person at risk of intimidation or harassment, or place the wellbeing of vulnerable persons at risk then the teacher in question may not be informed.

The purpose of an investigation is to gather all relevant information regarding allegations of a teacher’s actions. Investigators have powers conveyed upon them by the Act but primarily consist of requiring persons to provide information, produce a thing, or answer questions. Once all information (mostly in the form of documents and various interviews) has been gathered the investigator must give a report to the QCT or Professional Capacity and Teacher Conduct Committee (PC&TCC). This report forms the basis for the complaint.

Where the QCT believes, based on the report, there are grounds for disciplinary action they must refer the report to the PC&TCC. The PC&TCC is a board made up of at least three individuals of the teaching profession and if they decide to hear the complaint, they will notify the teacher in question and may request information from them or others. After hearing the matter they may decide to take various actions outlined below.

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) is a forum for settling disputes consisting of three panel members where the proceedings are open to the public and the complainant is allowed to attend. Details of disputes are generally published by QCAT but only consist of the teacher’s identity and nature and outcome of the dispute. Once the QCAT hearing is finalised, the panel members may choose to take action as detailed below, inclusive of the PC&TCC actions.

There are options for the teacher to review the decision through the QCT and PC&TCC if applicable.


The PC&TCC may take the following actions after hearing the matter:

  • Take no further action;
  • Refer the matter to QCAT;
  • Issue a warning, reprimand the teacher, impose/remove conditions on a teacher’s registration, or order a particular notation or endorsement regarding the teacher be entered into the register; or
  • Accept an undertaking from the teacher.

QCAT may do one or more of the following (in addition to possessing PC&TCC’s powers):

  • End a suspension;
  • Cancel or suspend a teacher’s registration;
  • Order the teacher to pay costs of the investigation or a fine (no more than $2,669.00) to QCT;
  • Prohibit a teacher from reapplying for registration if their registration has been cancelled; or
  • Make any other order QCAT deems appropriate.

How can we help?

Investigations by professional disciplinary bodies can have serious implications for your career moving forward. Robertson O’Gorman is committed to assisting clients faced with investigations throughout the entire process. We can support you during the initial informal stages and the more formal hearing stages before the PC&TCC and QCAT.