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Glossary of Health Terms

OHWA Terminology


Accreditation in higher education is defined as a collegial process based on self- and peer assessment for public accountability and improvement of academic quality. Peers assess the quality of an institution or academic program and assist the faculty and staff in improvement. An accreditation of an academic program or an entire institution typically involves three major activities:

  • The faculty, administrators, and staff of the institution or academic program conduct a self-study using the accrediting organization’s set of expectations about quality (standards, criteria) as their
  • A team of peers, selected by the accrediting organization, reviews the evidence, visits the campus to interview the faculty and staff, and writes a report of its assessment including recommendation to the commission of the accrediting organization (group of peer faculty and staff, professionals, and public members).
  • Guided by a set of expectations about quality and integrity, the commission reviews the evidence and recommendation, makes a judgment, and communicates the decision to the institution and other constituencies if

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation:


Certification is a credential that is earned on the basis of demonstration of specific skills or knowledge. “A certification test is a credentialing test used to determine whether individuals are knowledgeable enough in a given occupational to be labeled “competent to practice”

National Council on Measurement in Education: https://www.ncme.org/home


Competencies are applied skills and knowledge that enable people to perform work. Competency statements should consist of the following information:

  • action verb (observable or measurable performance of a worker)
  • content (subject matter, type of performance, specific task)
  • context (limitations or conditions of work environment)

Examples of definitions by professional agencies:

“Knowledge, skills, and attributes that are required to accomplish the desired outcomes. They are generally accepted but there may be exemptions for individual jobs depending on actual job requirements (CDC/ATSDR Master Development Plan).

The level reached by the person who is initially a novice, and who, after training and experience, reaches the level where they can be competent; a “floor” or a basic collection of the minimum knowledge, skills, and values needed for an entry-level specialist to practice dental public health. (American Public Health Association).

Dentistry: www.aaphd.org/default.asp?page=competencies.htm
Competency-to-Curriculum Toolkit: http://www.phf.org/resourcestools/Pages/Competency_to_CurriculumToolkit08.aspx target

Community of Practice

Communities of practice are formed by people who engage in a process of collective learning in a shared domain of human endeavor: a tribe learning to survive, a band of artists seeking new forms of expression, a group of engineers working on similar problems, a clique of pupils defining their identity in the school, a network of surgeons exploring novel techniques, a gathering of first-time managers helping each other cope.

Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.



A unit of teaching that typically lasts one academic term, is led by one or more instructors (teachers or professors), and has a fixed roster of students. A course is usually an individual subject. Courses generally have a fixed program of sessions every week during the term, called lessons or classes. Students may receive a grade and academic credit after completion of the course.


Continuing Professional Development

Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.

Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education:
CPD Certification Service: https://cpduk.co.uk/explained


The primary focus of a professional/personnel certification program is on providing an independent assessment of the knowledge, skills, and/or competencies required for competent performance of an occupational or professional role or specific work- related tasks and responsibilities. Certification also is intended to measure or enhance continued competence through recertification or renewal requirements.

The certification awarded designates that participants have demonstrated the requisite, work-related knowledge, skills, or competencies and met other requirements established by the certification program provider (e.g., academic degree, specified number of years of occupational or professional experience).

Institute for Credentialing Excellence. https://www.credentialingexcellence.org/p/cm/ld/fid=14


The unit of value, awarded for the successful completion of certain courses, intended to indicate the quantity of course instruction in relation to the total requirements for a diploma, certificate, or degree. Credits are frequently expressed in terms such as “Carnegie units,” “semester credit hours,” and “quarter credit hours.

National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d15/app_b.asp


In the U.S., a degree is an award conferred by a college, university, or other postsecondary education institution as official recognition for the successful completion of a program of studies. Refers specifically to associate’s or higher degrees conferred by degree-granting institutions.

National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d15/app_b.asp

Domain (Competency)

Competencies grouped in a large set by the type/area of knowledge or skill involved.

Public Health Foundation Council on Linkages Competency-to-Curriculum Toolkit: http://www.phf.org/resourcestools/Pages/Competency_to_CurriculumToolkit08.aspx


Evaluation of a training activity is typically conducted through a paper or electronic questionnaire, which requires a written or selected response answer to a series of questions in order to evaluate the quality of instruction and performance of the instructor of a given training activity such as a course. The term may also refer to the completed survey form or a summary of responses to questionnaires.

Hansen, L. Rethinking the Student Course Evaluation: How a Customized Approach Can Improve Teaching and Learning – American Association of Colleges and Universities  https://www.aacu.org/publications-research/periodicals/rethinking- student-course-evaluation

Experiential learning

Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience, and is more specifically defined as learning through reflection on doing. Hands-on learning can be a form of experiential learning, but does not necessarily involve students reflecting on their product.

Experiential learning is distinct from rote or didactic learning, in which the learner plays a comparatively passive role. It is related to, but not synonymous with, other forms of active learning such as action learning, adventure learning, free-choice learning, cooperative learning, service-learning, and situated learning.



An expert is someone who has a broad and deep competence in terms of knowledge, skill and experience through practice and education in a particular field.

Chi, M. T. H., Glasser R., & Rees, E. (1982). Expertise in problem solving. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Advances in the psychology of human intelligence. (Vol. 1, pp. 7–75). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Dreyfus, H.; Dreyfus, S. (2005). Expertise in real world contexts. Organization Studies. 26 (5): 779–792.

Ericsson, Anders K.; Charness, Neil; Feltovich, Paul; Hoffman, Robert R. (2006). Cambridge handbook on expertise and expert performance. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-60081-1.

Ericsson, Anders K.; Prietula, Michael J.; Cokely, Edward T. (2007). The Making of an Expert. Harvard Business Review (July–August 2007).

Field Experience

Field experience means a sequence of learning experiences which occur in actual school settings or clinical or laboratory settings. Such learning experiences are related to specific program outcomes and are designed to integrate educational theory, knowledge, and skills in actual practice under the direction of a qualified supervisor.


In-service Training

An in-service program is a professional training or staff development effort, where professionals are trained and discuss their work with others in their peer group. It is a key component of continuing medical education for physicians, pharmacists, and other medical professionals.



Interprofessional education (IPE) occurs when two or more professions (students, residents and health workers) learn with, about, and from each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes. In the One Health framework, veterinary medicine, human medicine, public health, and environmental science converge in interprofessional education and practice.

Diane R. Bridges et al. 2011. Interprofessional collaboration: three best practice models of interprofessional education. Med Educ Online. 2011; 16: 10.3402/meo.v16i0.6035.

National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education – https://nexusipe.org/informing/about-ipe

World Health Organization – Framework for action on interprofessional education and collaborative practice: https://www.who.int/hrh/resources/framework_action/en/

Learning Objectives

The distinction between “learning goals” and “learning objectives” is actually pretty commonsensical: in this context goals generally refer to the higher-order ambitions you have for your students, while objectives are the specific, measurable competencies which you would assess in order to decide whether your goals had been met. (To give one example: if it were your goal to teach students how to critique theories of state formation, the corresponding objective might be: “By the end of this course, students should be able to write an essay that explains one major theory of state formation and makes an argument about how well it describes the historical experience of a relevant country.”

The Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning: ON LEARNING GOALS AND LEARNING OBJECTIVES
 https://bokcenter.harvard.edu/learning-goals-and-learning- objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes are statements of what trainees will learn during their training experience as described it in the objectives and activities. Bloom’s taxonomy can be used to identify verbs to describe trainees’ learning. Examples of learning outcomes might include:

  • Knowledge/Remembering: define, list, recognize;
  • Comprehension/Understanding: characterize, describe, explain, identify, locate, recognize, sort;
  • Application/Applying: choose, demonstrate, implement, perform;
  • Analysis/Analyzing: analyze, categorize, compare, differentiate;
  • Evaluation/Evaluating: assess, critique, evaluate, rank, rate;
  • Synthesis/Creating: construct, design, formulate, organize,

Anderson, L., & Krathwohl, D. A. (2001). Taxonomy for learning, teaching and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York: Longman.

Bloom, B. S.; Engelhart, M. D.; Furst, E. J.; Hill, W. H.; Krathwohl, D. R. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals. Handbook I: Cognitive domain. New York: David McKay Company.

Erasmus-net: http://www.erasmusnet.org

Learning Quadrangle

Learning quadrangle refers to a form of student participatory learning

Approach represented by modular activities in four “R” words: Research, Reveal, Reflect, and Reform, whereby for each corner of the quadrangle, students conduct independent, collaborative, and problem-solving activities. Each course module engages students in participatory learning through each of the four sides beginning with Research whereby for each topic, students conduct independent or collaborative fact finding through literature review or image searches. This

exercise is followed by all students sharing information that they gathered through the Reveal exercise, and they are invited to comment on each-other’s work. In the Reflect module, students use “Concept Maps” to assemble pieces of information about a given topic, and the advance to problem solving

through the Reform exercises. The Learning Quadrangle has been used for fully online courses.

Oladele Ogunseitan. UC Global Health Institute – https://ucghi.universityofcalifornia.edu/education

Level of Achievement

Specific achievement levels for each subject area and grade to provide a context for interpreting student performance.

  • Basic—denotes partial mastery of the knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at a given
  • Proficient—represents solid academic Students reaching this level have demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter.
  • Advanced—signifies superior

National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d15/app_b.asp


A fractional part of a trainee’s education experience. In a certificate curriculum program, each training experience (e.g. course) represents a module focused on a given topic. In a single course, a module is a chapter, class meeting or lecture on a specific topic. A successful module is one in where the stated learning outcomes or objectives align with teaching activity and assessment (constructive alignment).

Academic Association of European Contemporary Studies: https://www.uaces.org/resources/how-to-design-effective-teaching-modules

Pre-service Training

Pre-service refers to activities which occur before a person takes up employment which requires specific training, i.e. before a person enters service. Courses and training activities for graduates, in addition to those for undergraduates, are pre-service courses if they provide the competence needed to perform new services.

Pre-service education or pre-service training are used to refer to any structured activity aiming at developing or reinforcing knowledge and skills before a health care professional enters public health service or private practice.

World Health Organization – Pre-service education: http://www.emro.who.int/child- health/preservice-education/preservice-education/What-is-IMCI-pre-service- training/All-Pages.html


A high degree of competency or skill. In training, proficiency is used in reference to:

  • Proficiency levels, scales, and cut-off scores on standardized tests and other forms of assessment.
  • Trainees achieving or failing to achieve proficiency levels determined by tests and assessments.
  • Trainees demonstrating or failing to demonstrate proficiency in relation to learning standards.
  • Faculty being deemed proficient or non-proficient on job-performance

The Glossary of Education Reform: https://www.edglossary.org/proficiency/


A seminar is a form of academic instruction, either at an academic institution or offered by a commercial or professional organization. It has the function of bringing together small groups for recurring meetings, focusing each time on some particular subject, in which everyone present is requested to participate. This is often accomplished through an ongoing Socratic dialogue with a seminar leader or instructor, or through a more formal presentation of research. It is essentially a place where assigned readings are discussed, questions can be raised, and debates can be conducted.



A simulation is an approximate imitation of the operation of a process or system. Simulation can be used to show the eventual real effects of alternative conditions and courses of action. Simulation is also used when the real system cannot be engaged, because it may not be accessible, or it may be dangerous or unacceptable to engage, or it is being designed but not yet built, or it may simply not exist. For example, simulation exercises are useful in training for pandemic preparedness. A simulation exercise such as “Event 201” simulates an outbreak of a novel zoonotic coronavirus transmitted from bats to pigs to people that eventually becomes efficiently transmissible from person to person, leading to a severe pandemic. The pathogen and the disease it causes are modeled largely on SARS, but it is more transmissible in the community setting by people with mild symptoms.

Event 201 – Center for Health Security – https://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/event201/scenario.html


The ability to carry out a task with determined results typical within a given amount of time and other resources. Skills can be domain-general or domain-specific. Soft skills are a combination of interpersonal people skills, social skills, communication skills, character traits, attitudes, career attributes and emotional intelligence quotient. Hard skills, also called technical skills, are any skills relating to a specific task or situation. It involves both understanding and proficiency in such specific activity that involves methods, processes, procedures, or techniques.

Rao, M.S. (2010). Soft Skills – Enhancing Employability: Connecting Campus with Corporate. New Delhi: I. K. International Publishing House Pvt Ltd. p. 225. ISBN 9789380578385.

Robles, Marcel M. (12 August 2016). “Executive Perceptions of the Top 10 Soft Skills Needed in Today’s Workplace”. Business Communication Quarterly. 75 (4): 453–465. doi:10.1177/1080569912460400.

Soft skills

Soft skills are a combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character or personality traits, attitudes, career attributes, social intelligence and emotional intelligence quotients, among others, that enable people to navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well, and achieve their goals with complementing hard skills. Soft skills are desirable qualities for certain forms of employment that do not necessarily depend on acquired knowledge: they include common sense, the ability to deal with people, and a positive flexible attitude. The phrase “soft skills” is a composite expression, and each of the two words explains a defining aspect of the concept.


Student Club

Students One Health Innovations Clubs (SOHICs) bring together students from various disciplines on one platform in a collaborative effort to advance the understanding of the theory and application/practice of the One Health concept and approach.

SOHIC Guidelines (AFROHUN): https://afrohun.org
One Health Commission Students for One Health – International Student One Health Alliance:


A syllabus is an outline of the subjects in a course of study or teaching. It provides trainees with a guide to a training procedure, e.g. a course and what documents expectations for the course. Generally a syllabus will include policies, rules and regulations, required textbooks, and a schedule of assignments.

Stanford University – Cardinal Compass: https://undergrad.stanford.edu/academic- planning/cardinal-compass/your-questions-answered/what-syllabus

Technical Competency

Tasks of the entry-level person, a uniform standard for the training, education, and certification.

Competency-to-Curriculum Toolkit: http://www.phf.org/resourcestools/Pages/Competency_to_CurriculumToolkit08.aspx

Training Manual

A training manual is a book or booklet of instructions, used to improve the quality of a performed task. A training manual may be particularly useful as:

  • An introduction to subject matter prior to training
  • An outline to be followed during training
  • A reference to subject matter after training
  • A general reference document
  • A system to reference

A training manual may form an important part of a formal training program. For example, it may help ensure consistency in presentation of content. It may also ensure that all training information on skills, processes, and other information necessary to perform tasks is together in one place.

Training manuals can be designed to be used as:

  • Work books – used in training sessions to provide basic information, examples and exercises.
  • Self-paced guides: designed for trainees to work through on their
  • Reference manuals: for containing detailed information on processes and
  • Handouts: provide general information to support training done during the
  • Job aids: provide step-by-step instructions to be used in the



Tutorial is period of instruction given by a university or college tutor to an individual or very small group.

A tutorial is a method of transferring knowledge and may be used as a part of a learning process. More interactive and specific than a book or a lecture, a tutorial seeks to teach by example and supply the information to complete a certain task.

A tutorial can be taken in many forms, ranging from a set of instructions to complete a task to an interactive problem-solving session



A workshop is designed to teach something or develop a specific skill while an academic conference is about presenting original research and getting feedback from peers. A workshop doesn’t necessarily have to present original research; it is directed more towards teaching and learning in an interactive environment.

https://academia.stackexchange.com/questions/44296/what-is-done-in-a-workshop- how-does-it-differ-from-an-academic-conference