International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, known more commonly as ICF, is a classification of health and health-related domains. As the functioning and disability of an individual occurs in a context, ICF also includes a list of environmental factors.

ICF is the WHO framework for measuring health and disability at both individual and population levels. ICF was officially endorsed by all 191 WHO Member States in the Fifty-fourth World Health Assembly on 22 May 2001(resolution WHA 54.21) as the international standard to describe and measure health and disability.

Online Resources


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  • Browse the ICF Core Sets Online
    ICF Core Sets facilitate the description of functioning in clinical practice by providing lists of categories that are relevant for specific health conditions and health care contexts to allow a user-friendly description of functioning and disability, and to support the applicability of ICF in practice.

  • ICF Education Portal
    In order to apply ICF consistently and reliably, quality education is essential. This portal has been created to allow members of the WHO-FIC Network Functioning and Disability Reference Group, WHO-FIC Collaborating Centres, and other collaborators to upload existing tools and documentation that can be freely used by others seeking to improve their understanding and use of ICF.


The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health for Children and Youth (ICF-CY) is a WHO approved “derived” classification based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). In the interest of a streamlined, comprehensive ICF which adequately addresses all aspects of functioning across the lifespan, the relevant stakeholders have agreed to merge the two classifications back into one while completing other updates and revisions. This Resolution outlines that decision and provides additional detail about the process moving forward.

Page updated on 22 July 2016.