Online Course
Introduction to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)
Learn about the ICF's focus on individuals and their contextual factors

1-1.5 hours





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Patricia Saleeby
Course instructor

Dr Patricia Welch Saleeby is internationally recognised for her role in promoting the ICF

Course instructor

Learning, Acting and Building for Rehabilitation in Health Systems

Course image - Introduction to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)
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The World Health Organization (WHO) has systematically developed a model of disability that considers the ongoing interaction between an individual's health and contextual factors. This model acknowledges that disability is a universal human experience, is aetiologically neutral, and lies on a continuum from no disability to complete disability. This course provides an introduction to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) and reviews the progress made in conceptualising and measuring disability.


This course aims to introduce the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) and its role in rehabilitation.


This course is made up of videos, reading, forum posts and a final quiz. The course content is split into the following sections:

  1. Video
  2. Reading activity
  3. Quiz

Target audience

This course is aimed at rehabilitation professionals, students and assistants including but not limited to Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Rehabilitation Doctors, Rehabilitation Nurses, Prosthetists, Orthotists, Psychologists, Audiologists, Dietetics, Social Workers. Community Health Workers, Nurses or Medical Doctors interested in this subject are also invited to participate.


Availability - this course is online and can be completed on your own schedule.

Hours of Learning - No deadlines are applied to this course and it can be started and completed in your own time according to your personal schedule. We expect the required elements to take around 1-1.5 hours depending on your schedule and learning style. Additionally there are many optional resources provided and if you choose to review these the course could take longer to complete.

Types of Activities - Watching videos, reading, a final quiz and participating in an international discussion forum.

Certificates - At the end of the course, when you have completed all of the required elements, you will be able to download a certificate of completion and 1 Plus points will be added to your personalised learning dashboard.

Requirements to complete this course

In order to complete this course and receive a course completion certificate plus CEUs/CCUs/CPD points you will need to:

  1. Respect the Plus Community Culture.
  2. Log all the required learning activities as complete (represented by the orange icons!).
  3. Actively and appropriately participate in the course discussions.
  4. Pass a final quiz with a score of 80% or more.
  5. Complete a course evaluation form.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • discuss the principles of the International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities and Handicaps (ICIDH)
  • categorise components of the World Health Organization family of international classifications (WHO-FIC)
  • discuss the unique features of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) and their impact on rehabilitation
  • differentiate between the ICIDH, International Classification of Disease (ICD-11), and ICF

Instructor financial and non-financial disclosures

Patricia Saleeby: I have several grants related to education/training, clinical practice, and research regarding the WHO classification systems (ICD and ICF) from different funders.
Financial: I receive some financial compensation from these grants in terms of salary supplements. I am developing a clinical course with a focus on the ICF and WHODAS for social workers
Non-financial: I receive some non-financial compensation from these grants in terms of travel support.
Additionally, I am a member of several WHOFIC working groups and committees related to the international classifications.


For special needs or accommodations please contact us with details of how we can meet your needs.

Featured reviews
It was a fruitful experience, and I learned much more about ICF, its extended fields and how it works. I did know what ICD was but had no idea it had an extended field, ICD-11, so it was refreshing and educational.
Neha Khadka
The rehabilitation part of medical management is almost neglected. These courses are the cornerstone of the rehabilitation team's professional development.
Nisar Uddin
I highly recommend this course to anyone looking to deepen their knowledge. It has been a valuable investment in my professional development, and I look forward to applying the learnings in my field. Kudos to the team behind this course for delivering an outstanding educational experience!
Muhammad Hashim
This course, in my opinion, is mandatory for all workers in the field of rehabilitation. It is not complicated. It is accessible and exciting. (Google Translate)
Андрій Гавриленко
A concise, well-structured course crafted in such a friendly situation and an accessible learning environment makes learning all the more exciting. The knowledge acquired within the shortest time is vast. Every professional, job owner and head of facilities must learn this course.
This course is informative, especially for diagnostic purposes and understanding persons with different disabilities.
Amna Yousuf
The course was a good learning experience and very informative. I enjoyed its engagement, and I hope to apply it in my public health setting.
Tauo Teilai
This course was beneficial to what we are learning in class, and I highly recommend that people watch these videos to understand better if they do not fully understand a topic.
Ashley McCurdy
United States
Great course! Getting back to roots on classifying the body and body functions is fantastic.
Sabina Dahal
It is a wonderful course. I learned the ICF in my post-graduate studies and have been implementing them in my practice. However, this course had more information than I knew. For the first time, I learnt about WHO FIC and ICD 11. The limitations and unique features of the ICF were an excellent addition to the course.
Zulu Carol Singogo
I never knew I could understand the whole ICF concept in a read of about 30-45mins. Very explanatory, objective and educative!
Olawale Agbomeji
If you are looking for an introductory course on ICF, this is the right course for you. You will appreciate every detail!
Victor Uwakwe
As a physiotherapist, I have understood the ICF model of disability, but it has been difficult to differentiate its components. This course will help me address patient problems with a deep understanding!
This course was informative. The information presented could be well received by novice clinicians and those who may be more advanced. In addition, the course outlines how useful the ICF tool is for clinicians.
Abbigail Tingle
Thank you for teaching the history of the ICF model, which helps me better understand the model as it is now.
Johan Mühren
It is an excellent course that introduces the participant to the WHO's guidelines and their development regarding "disability". There have been tremendous changes over the years, and we in the US are not yet up-to-date with the core principles. In my own words, the idea that "no one is perfect" is enshrined in the ICF...and though we all say it, I am not sure we all mean the same thing. Nevertheless, the ICF identifies how this can be true in a personally-neutral way. Great class!
anne hom
Physical Therapist
United States
I hope to imbibe this knowledge in my practice as such is not practised in my country!
Sussan Ayinla
During the ICF introductory training, it was specific to rehab personnel. I now appreciate its broader use by other health professionals as we will be speaking the same language and prioritising interventions based on patient-specific functionalities. The ICF has true potential for providing a global health framework for organising and communicating information on human function with any health condition.
Trish Mtetwa
I enjoyed this simple course! It gave me a fair amount of information, and now I have a better vision while working with patients with impairments.
Ammar Jaradat
It is the best course to know the difference between environmental effects on a patient and between impairment and disability.
Saad UR Rehman
I had heard of ICF and its components before but did not know what it was about. But after this course, I have an in-depth knowledge of what it is and learned how to apply it in my clinical practice.
Ukamaka Favour Nweke
This course has enlightened me about the importance of using the ICF model in rehabilitation. It will surely improve my practice as a Physiotherapist!
Ibrahim Magaji Sani
This course is informative and gives a view of how disability can be looked at in greater detail if the quality of life of people with special needs is to be improved.
Crissy Ndyabaguruka
It is an exciting course that has improved my clinical practice. Thank you for the opportunity to take this course!
Adetola Adebayo
I am glad you have offered this course, which will help me in my clinical practice, especially in terminology adaptation and definition. When I started my clinical practice, we used the ICIDH because our centre had poor technology advancement and support.
Michelle Mabel Miranda
Physical Therapist
Saudi Arabia
(Translation) This exciting course will suit those with limited time but who want to learn something new!
Наталія Льоскіна
This Introductory course was inspiring to see how ICIDH has evolved. It was great seeing how important it is to know the whole patient and everything that affects them. This course was excellent!
Katrina Kerr-Bridglalsingh
Trinidad And Tobago
I honestly appreciate this course! It is conducive to our daily clinical practices.
jumanne sanga
This course is about to wake me up from the comforting dream of accepting how my country considers the healthcare condition of life. It is not only increasing my knowledge and skills, but I got a feeling of a revolution in how things happen when it comes to the health condition of life that is entirely abnormal. Whether we like it or not, we fully meet all the requirements to be a potential candidate to be disabled one day! Therefore we all should be concerned with the way disability is perceived.
Laurent Cindy
P&O Technician
It is a must course to take to refresh and learn something new about ICF!
Sharon Muchoki
It is a knowledgeable course that provides a source of learning and promotes functional classification!
Iqra Hussain
Occupational Therapist
It is a great course for beginners and experienced physiotherapists who are not using ICF yet.
Ida Odegaard
It is a fantastic course that helped me to understand patients' perspectives on health and disability and their expectations from therapists.
Hadiqa Tabani
Occupational Therapist
Intensive details, impressive!
A most recommended course for all health professionals! I recommend it, especially for the early intervention and preventive care primary health care workers.
Neelum Zehra