WONCA Working Party: WICC (International Classification)

WICC (International Classification)

The WONCA International Classification Committee (WICC) is WONCA's longest serving committee. It is a large group whose mission is to develop and maintain classifications that accommodate the complete domain of family medicine/general practice.

The WICC has an impressive collection of publications including the International Classification of Primary Care (ICPC) which classifies patient data and clinical activity in the domains of general practice/family practice and primary care, taking into account the frequency distribution of problems seen in these domains. It allows classification of the patient’s reason for encounter, the problems/diagnosis managed, interventions, and the ordering of these data in an episode of care structure.

Interested persons can contact the Chair for information on how to become an active participant in Committee.

Convenor / Chair

Prof Michael Klinkman (USA)

Email Chair

Prof Michael Klinkman MD MS, is a Michigan native who has spent most of his life serving the people of his home state. He is first and foremost a practicing family physician, with an active part-time practice in Ann Arbor where he has served his patients for over 20 years.

Prof Klinkman is professor in the Department of Family Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School. His academic efforts at Michigan have been focused on health information technology, mental health care in the primary care setting, and practice-based research. He has been part of the University of Michigan Depression Center leadership team since its inception, and has led several of the Center’s primary care initiatives over the past 10 years. In his former role as Associate Director of the University of Michigan Medical Management Center, he led development of the U-M Depression Disease Management Program, the first JCAHO-accredited depression disease management program in the nation. In the Department of Family Medicine, he co-led the development of Cielo Clinic, an ICPC-based clinical quality management software application now used by over 800 primary care clinicians in several health systems across the United States. He recently served as Chair of the joint AHRQ/NIMH Technical Expert Panel on Mental Health Information Technology.

Prof Klinkman has led or co-led several large studies of mental health care in the primary care setting. The long-term Depression in Primary Care initiative developed a model depression support program (M-DOCC) supported by a case management software application, and confirmed its effectiveness in supporting primary care practices in providing mental health care. His work is now focused on integrating mental health care into the Patient-Centered Medical Home and creating sustainable practice change through community-academic partnerships. He co-founded the Greater Flint Depression in Primary Care Partnership and the Jackson Community Partnership, both aimed at improving mental health care in real-world practice settings.

He has been a member of the WONCA International Classification Committee (WICC) since 1993, serving as its Chair, since 2007. In this role, he has led efforts to transform the work of the Committee, to revise ICPC, and to develop new classification tools for use in the primary care. Under his leadership, WICC has developed formal collaborative relationships with other international organizations involved in classification and terminology, and he now serves as the primary care classification liaison to the World Health Organization.

Co-Convenor or other office bearers

Deputy chair

Prof Anders Grimsmo (Norway)

Executive Members

  • Dr Nick Booth (UK)
  • Prof Helena Britt (Australia) 
  • Dr François Mennerat (France)

Vision and Mission of WONCA Working Party on WICC (International Classification)

The mission of the WONCA International Classification Committee is to develop and maintain classifications that accommodate the complete domain of family/general practice, and to ensure that these classifications are interoperable to the highest degree possible with standard international health care terminologies and classifications, in order to contribute to equitable quality health care worldwide.

Objectives of the WONCA Working Party on WICC (International Classification)

From the mission statement, we derive the following primary goals:

  • To achieve widespread international use of the International Classification of Primary Care (ICPC)
  • To maintain and revise ICPC to accommodate expanded health care knowledge
  • To develop productive working relationships with other international standards development organizations
  • To support the work of WICC and WONCA through licensing of ICPC
  • To create and disseminate additional classification tools as needed to capture and codify the complete domain of family/general practice

These goals lead to the following core objectives for the work of WICC:

  • Stabilize ICPC-2 in electronic and print form (version control)
  • Reconcile and maintain maps between ICPC and ICD, ICPC and SNOMED
  • Complete licensing agreements for ICPC-2 in new countries, particularly developing areas
  • Identify a stable and sustainable Web-based host for ICPC-2
  • Develop a training program for ICPC
  • Create and maintain a professional Web presence for WICC
  • Promote additional translations of ICPC and other primary care classification tools
  • Create a “primary care classification package” of ICPC-plus-other terminologies built in to simple open-source health IT intended for use in developing areas
  • Build the conceptual foundation for ICPC-3 (the “primary care data model”)
  • Complete collaborative agreements with WHO and IHTSDO
  • Identify additional classification needs and develop new tools to fill those needs
  • Build capacity for data analysis and field trials within WICC or WONCA
  • Strengthen working relationships with WONCA Informatics Working Party
  • Create an international “Primary Care Classification Consortium” to organize and fund our activities



Relevant Resources

WICC Products

Other WICC links

The COOP / WONCA charts - a way of classifying and recording the overall functional status of the patient as distinct from the status of severity of their health problem(s). 

DUSOI - WONCA severity of illness instrument

WONCA Dictionary of General Practice (2003)
The main purpose of this dictionary is to act as a reference for GPs/FPs throughout the world, so that they can communicate meaningfully about general/family practice now and in the near future. The Dictionary’s ambition is to cover general terms regarding the organization and the work in general/family practice, research, classification, and epidemiology.

Quaternary Prevention Concept  – first do no harm endorsed by WICC