The Taxonomy Taskforce: An Alliance Effort to Ensure Our Words Matter!

By Caroline O. Pardo, PhD, CHCP, FACEHP 

Author’s note: This article was drafted before the full immensity of the COVID-19 situation impacted our community. Our Alliance community is a rich network of talented people who are contributing in many ways to address the emerging needs related to the healthcare crisis in the United States and globally. This Taxonomy Taskforce effort remains an important part of the Alliance’s effort to ensure that the Alliance community is armed with the best tools and resources to conduct and evolve healthcare professional education and CPD and rigorous research on the impact of education on improving health outcomes.

As the national society for continuing professional development (CPD) professionals, the Alliance ensures that its members have the tools, resources and education to address their specific, practical needs.

The Alliance recently established a dedicated taskforce related to the taxonomy of our CPD community — the naming, defining and classifying of the words we use within our professional world.

This new “Taxonomy Taskforce” aims to help Alliance members grapple with some of the questions that have emerged within the Alliance community related to the specific definitions and terms used within our profession (e.g., “learner”). It will also provide an Alliance-supported set of tools and resources that will be useful to members in their daily work. The Alliance includes several member sections, and this effort aims to pull together a comprehensive resource set from across the Alliance landscape and make it available to Alliance members. 

As we are about two months past the Alliance 2020 Annual Conference, where the Taxonomy Taskforce had its “official" inaugural meeting, we are hopeful that you’ll consider how you can also play a role within the Taxonomy Taskforce effort (more on that below). 

Below is an FAQ about this exciting new Alliance taskforce. 

Q:  What are the core goals of the Alliance Taxonomy Taskforce?

A:  The Alliance leadership wants to ensure that the Alliance is the professional home of healthcare education professionals, and that the Alliance supports its members and the community with practical and accessible tools to help us all be more effective in our professional roles. With that aim, the Taxonomy Taskforce seeks to align the taxonomy efforts within the Alliance community into a centrally available and vetted resource. As we consider each tool or resource for this collection, or repository, we will ask: Will this help our fellow Alliance members? 

Q:  What are the priorities of the Taxonomy Taskforce?

A:  The Taxonomy Taskforce will focus on thoughtful gathering of taxonomy-related content and alignment of ideas, and collaborative action for effective dissemination and adoption. 

Q:  How will the Taxonomy Taskforce organize and make available the taxonomy-related resources?

A:   The collection of taxonomy-related content (glossaries, tools, resources, etc.) will be assembled into a Taxonomy Repository that will align with the Alliance’s Educating the Educator curriculum, with the aim to identify and organize resources from all of the corners of the Alliance community. This effort supports the following core and specialized areas of the curriculum:

  • Core areas: Healthcare/CPD landscape; adult learning; program planning and design; and accreditation
  • Specialized areas: Program management; measurement and evaluation; quality and performance improvement; technology; leadership; research and scholarship; grants/industry support; and evolving and emerging trends 

Q: What are the actionable goals of the Taxonomy Taskforce?

A: An overarching goal for the first year is to go beyond putting a stake in the ground by demonstrating tangible products at the end of one year, including the specific goals:  

  1. Complete “Version 1” of a Taxonomy Repository, a collection of relevant taxonomy-related tools and resources from the Alliance community and beyond, including publications related to their use, such as those describing use cases, outcomes and best practices.
  2. Complete an alignment of all collected Taxonomy Repository content, in partnership with the Curriculum Oversight Committee, with the Alliance’s Educating the Educator curriculum. 

Q: How can you get involved?

A: To ensure we are engaging, involving and communicating with the entirety of the Alliance membership, we welcoming your feedback, suggestions, questions and support. 

I value your support and volunteer effort on any tasks to which you can contribute. The next steps for this effort include learning more about and collecting the taxonomy-related products, tools and resources that you and your organization have access to that would be available and appropriate for the Taxonomy Repository.

If you’d like to suggest resources or simply learn more, please feel free to reach out to me directly at: or 347-753-2768. 

We look forward to the eager involvement of many folks from across the Alliance on this important effort to ensure that our words matter!


Recent Stories
Alliance Podcast Episode 18: Spotlight on Leadership

Comparison of In-Person Versus Tele-Ultrasound Point-of-Care Ultrasound Training During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Rockpointe Presents Online CME Course on Treating High-Risk Patients With COVID-19