International Classification of Primary Care, Second edition (ICPC-2)

Purpose / Definition

WHO has accepted ICPC-2 within the WHO FIC mainly as a reason for encounter classification, and users may use it as a classification for primary care or general practice wherever applicable.

ICPC-2 classifies patient data and clinical activity in the domains of General/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 (RFE), the problems/diagnosis managed, interventions, and the ordering of these data in an episode of care structure

Classification Structure

It has a biaxial structure and consists of 17 chapters, each divided into 7 components dealing with symptoms and complaints (comp. 1), diagnostic, screening and preventive procedures (comp. 2), medication, treatment and procedures (comp. 3), test results (comp. 4), administrative (comp. 5), referrals and other reasons for encounter (comp. 6) and diseases (comp. 7).

Administrative Status

Creation date: 1987 First as HICPIC and HICIC 2 -defined and then ICPC.

Last date change: Updated March 2003 in Family Practice, OUP. Now called: ICPC-2, 2003.

Reference Documents

Available at: click here

Next update planned in March 2004.

Available indexes: Working electronic version of a multilingual thesaurus with diagnostic terms in English, French, Spanish, and Dutch based on the mapping between ICPC-2 and ICD-10 available on CD-ROM.

Paper index included in the published book.

Available formats: ICPC-2 book, a hard copy, available as “print on demand” from OUP website:

A summary sheet with the whole of ICPC-2 on the two sides of an A-4 page, called “ICPC-2 pager” available from


Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian and Spanish.