The Act confers the Registrar with powers to investigate and refer matters to the Board for Inquiry (disciplinary proceedings) independently of the Board, acting within the principles of administrative law, the provisions of the Act, the policies of the Board and other relevant legislation.
An investigation conducted by the Board’s Investigation Unit is independent of investigations undertaken by the South Australia Police, the employer or any other statutory authority.
If the Registrar determines an investigation is warranted, the teacher concerned will be informed in writing that an investigation has commenced. This notification outlines the nature of the complaint and/or allegations and advises the teacher that the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness apply.
Pursuant to section 34 of the Act the Registrar, or a person authorised by the Registrar (usually an Investigations Officer employed by the Board) has the power to investigate the conduct, capacity and/or competence of a teacher.
Depending on the outcome of an investigation the Registrar may either determine there is no evidence to support the allegation(s), resolve the matter administratively or refer the matter to the Crown Solicitor’s Office (CSO) for further legal advice and consideration of the laying of a formal Complaint for an Inquiry Hearing before the Board.
A ‘Complaint’ is the term used for the formal document provided to the Board by the Registrar which outlines the allegations against a teacher and forms the basis of an Inquiry into a teacher’s conduct or capacity to teach. It is to be distinguished from general complaints or concerns made about a teacher by others. The Registrar becomes the complainant in any Inquiry.