Purpose.To report on the process of implementation and dissemination of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)  in Italy. Methods.The Agenzia Regionale della Sanit of Friuli Venezia Giulia Region (ARSFVG) is a WHO Collaborating Centre for the Family of International Classifications. It collaborated with Italian research institutions such as the C. Besta Neurological Institute IRCCS Foundation, the Medea Institute, and the National Institute of Statistics in revising, field testing and validating the ICF in Italy and in the preparation of ICF-CY (Children and Youth Version). Results.The value of ICF profiles in defining personalised programmes of interventions was explored by evaluating the link between ICF items and the UN Convention, which was taken as a criterion of clear ethical and political orientation in the evaluation of the disability condition. The first and main effort of ICF implementation was directed in the field of public health and welfare policies. Two main nationwide projects were launched: ICF and the labour polices in 2003 and ICF and the disability certification reforms in 2006. ICF also received a strong attention by the professional working in the school system, and was used to define the functioning profile of children and to establish personalised educational programmes. Conclusions.The implementation of ICF in Italy was strongly facilitated by a favourable cultural and scientific context.
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