ICF - The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) is a framework for describing and organising information on functioning and disability. It was approved for use by the World Health Assembly in 2001, after extensive testing across the world involving people with disabilities and people from a range of relevant disciplines. The ICF web page now also contains an updated browser (ICF 2017).

The ICF integrates the major models of disability. It recognises the role of environmental factors in the creation of disability and the importance of participation as a desired outcome, as well as the relevance of associated health conditions.

The ICF ‘has been accepted as one of the UN social classifications and provides an appropriate instrument for the implementation of stated international human rights mandates as well as national legislation’ (WHO 2001:5-6).