What is ICF?

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) is the international standard for framing, describing, recording and measuring functioning and disability (WHO 2001).

The ICF conceptualises a person's level of functioning as a dynamic interaction between their health conditions, environmental factors, and personal factors. Functioning and disability are on a continuum and are described in terms of body structures and body functions / impairments, activities / activity limitations and participation / participation restrictions. Environmental factors can be described as of barriers or facilitators and may indicate what needs to change to support people to achieve their maximum level of functioning and realising their rights to participate in society.

Ethical guidelines for use of the ICF include the need for respect and confidentiality and ensuring that people have opportunities for participating in recording functioning (Annex 6).

For more information click here to download the ICF Practical Manual.

ICF Framework

The ICF Framework

Find ICF Resources

Find ICF Advisor/Educator

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This site is funded by individuals and WHO-FIC Collaborating Centres with a passion for making top quality ICF resources globally available. Kindly support our cause. If you want to support this site, please contact us.

This ICF education initiative is under the auspices of the WHO-FIC Collaborating Centre for the Africa Region, based at the Burden of Disease Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa
Nelson Mandela University
Developed and hosted by the Centre for Community Technologies, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa