Taxonomy of Issues

“Working with representatives from all remits within the learning and skills sector, I originally produced the Taxonomy of Issues to navigate the tens of thousands of resources in the Excellence Gateway,” says CCQI Director, Tony Davis. “However, the longevity of interest in the resource as been because, for the first time, it articulated every issue we might have with the quality of provision – an agenda for exploring provision for improvement themes in a level of detail not matched by the Common Inspection Framework (CIF). All we need to do to produce outstanding learning experiences is to resolve every issue…”

The 247 headings, arranged under the learner’s journey and aspects of leadership and management, were also part of the seed work behind the CCQI’s research into producing bespoke Quality Standards for learning and skills providers. A Quality Standard replaces the CIF as the centre of an organisation’s quality system. Properly written by the staff who will use it, a Quality Standard is a precise articulation of staff’s ‘day job’ and a gold standard for learning impact. Self assessing against one’s own standard enables staff to self assess for themselves, rather than for the external audience promoted by the CIF. It also becomes the motivator for reinventing provision to meeting staff’s own new high expectations. This is an unashamedly aspirational model that completely transforms an organisation’s self assessment and quality systems.

For more information on writing a Quality Standard, click here.

And now, for the first time since its production in 2008, we are publishing the full, detailed Learning and Skills Taxonomy alongside the single page overview. For every one of the 247 terms, you’ll see (where appropriate) synonyms, related terms, narrower terms, broader terms, as well as a definition.

For instance, did you know that there are 17 synonyms for ‘learner’, and that the term ‘provider’ enables us to talk collectively about 35 different types of organisation? This is a fascinating document for anyone interested in learning and skills provision.

Click the images to download the pdfs. If you would like to contribute to a review of the taxonomy, then do please send us your thoughts using the comments box below.

Full Learning and Skills Taxonomy

Full Learning and Skills Taxonomy


Learning and Skills Taxonomy overview

Learning and Skills Taxonomy overview


  1. Randeep Sami
    October 13, 2020 @ 07:07 pm

    This is a fantasic resource Tony. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  2. Tony Davis
    October 14, 2020 @ 08:08 am

    Many thanks, Randeep. Delighted you’ve found it interesting, and that you found it at all! Best wishes, Tony.

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