The WHO constitution mandates the production of international classifications on health so that there is a consensual, meaningful and useful framework which governments, providers and consumers can use as a common language.
Internationally endorsed classifications facilitate the storage, retrieval, analysis, and interpretation of data. They also permit the comparison of data within populations over time and between populations at the same point in time as well as the compilation of nationally and internationally consistent data.
The purpose of the WHO Family of International Classifications (WHO-FIC) is to provide an appropriate selection of classifications for a range of settings in the health field around the world.The basis for the WHO-FIC and the principles governing the admission of classifications are set out in the paper on the "WHO Family of International Classifications: definition, scope and purpose".
This paper also provides a protocol for those wishing to submit a classification for inclusion in the WHO-FIC.