WONCA Working Party: International Classification (WICC)

International Classification (WICC)

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.

International Classification of Primary Care (ICPC) explained December 2016ICPC-2 English websiteICPC-3 English website (launched December 2020)

Convenor / Chair

Dr Diego Schrans, MD PhD. (Belgium)

Email Chair

Diego is General Practitioner, in the region of Ghent, Belgium. 

Born in 1970. After finishing his studies and training at Ghent University, he started working as a general practitioner in a group practice Destelbergen, a small village near Ghent. Together with two colleagues and two doctors in training we share the care for our patients. 

Since 2000 he started working at the department of Primary Health Care and General Practice, Ghent University, first as a junior scientific co-worker, practice assistant and later as PhD student.

In 2018 he defended in public his PhD thesis: “How to capture the person behind the patient in bits and bytes.” Classification, ICPC-2, and terminology in a person focused were the main research topics. 

He still divides his professional time between patient care and work at the university where he is setting up a centre for classification and terminology in primary care.

He came in to contact with WICC during the Ghent Meeting in 2010 and became full member in 2012. After being a member of the governance committee for six years he was elected chair in 2020 during the Erlangen meeting. 

Co-Convenor or other office bearers

Deputy chair

Kees van Boven (the Netherlands)

Executive Members

  • Prof Kees van Boven, (The Netherlands)  
  • Dr Jean Karl Soler (Malta)
  • Olawunmi Olagundoye (Nigeria)
  • Laurent Letrillart (France) 
  • Past President: Prof Thomas Kühlein (Germany)

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

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 International Classification (WICC)

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


WICC meeting in Lviv 2018

WICC meeting in Finland in 2016

WICC report 2015-16


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