The World Health Organisation (WHO) has designated a number of Collaborating Centres (CC), including the German Institute of Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI), to work with WHO in the development, dissemination, maintenance and use of the WHO Family of International Classifications (WHO-FIC). One of these classifications is the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).

The ICF presents a comprehensive and integrative framework for describing functioning and disability as a person's "lived experience", that is, the interaction between a person's biomedical status, as well as his/her level of activity and participation in life situations, environmental and personal factors.

Dedicated to the promotion and further development of the ICF as well as to its implementation in the health, educational, social and policy sectors worldwide, the ICF Research Branch was established in 2003. The ICF Research Branch is a partner of the WHO-FIC CC in Germany hosted by DIMDI. Since 2003, the ICF Research Branch has collaborated with over 300 study centres in more than 50 countries worldwide implementing its vision in research programs and implementation activities such as ICF Core Set development, creation of a web-based ICF training tool and organization of ICF train-the-train workshops.

The ICF Research Branch is hosted by the Swiss Paraplegic Research (SPF) in Nottwil, Switzerland. It is run by an international Steering Committee, a group of renowned experts in ICF, and its research and implementation efforts are powered by a multi-professional and international group of scientists.

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