The Taxonomy is an international classification system with three different locales:  the U.S. English locale which includes terms and definitions that are appropriate for subscribers in the United States, and two locales that have been configured for use in Canada, one in English, the other in French.

The majority of terms in the Taxonomy represent services that are offered in both countries under the same conditions and thus have identical data elements in the two English language locales. There are, however, spelling differences that must be accounted for, occasional differences in what services are called in the two countries with resultant variations in term names and use references, and differences in the way services are managed or delivered which may lead to variations in definitions.  When differences occur, the Canadian English version of the term is modified creating two variants of the same record. U.S. subscribers see the U.S. English version and Canadian subscribers, the Canadian English one.

There are also a number of individual services that are only available in one country or the other; and large service systems like the courts and public assistance programs which vary enough that different sets of terms are required in the U.S. and Canadian locales for adequate representation.

The Canadian French locale is a French language version of the Canadian English locale and references Canadian English term names and definitions. U.S. only terms and U.S. term names and definitions whose Canadian English equivalents have been modified have no French equivalents. While every term in the Canadian English version has an equivalent in the French version, the French content was not generated simply by translation but developed through a thorough research process in compliance with the ISO Guidelines for the Establishment and Development of Multilingual Thesauri which reflects cultural, linguistic and semantic differences.

The choice of locale is particularly important in the Search function because only terms active within the locale are retrieved and displayed. To change the view of the Taxonomy that is being displayed, simply click on “change” next to “Viewing” beneath the Log in/Log out button at the top of the page and select the locale you wish to see.  Once marked, the original choice persists until changed. Printed Taxonomy reports and XML files are also locale-specific, but depend on the locale in which they were run, not the locale setting on the website.

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