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Who are we?

The Australian Collaborating Centre (ACC) supports the World Health Organization Family of International Classifications (WHO-FIC) Network develop, disseminate, maintain and use the WHO-FIC in a way that supports national and international health information systems, and statistical reporting.

The ACC is made up of numerous members from participating organisations that have an interest and experience in working with classifications. List of members (128KB PDF).

The ACC was first designated as a collaborating centre of the WHO-FIC network in 1991 and was most recently redesignated in May 2014 until May 2018.

The ACC is located at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) in Canberra. The role of head of the ACC is assigned to the CEO of the AIHW or a nominated representative—currently, this is the Head of the AIHW's Hospitals, Resourcing and Classifications Group, Jenny Hargreaves.

What is a collaborating centre?

A WHO collaborating centre (WHO-CC) is an institution designated by the Director-General to be part of an international collaborative network that carries out activities to support WHO programmes at all levels (WHO CC fact sheet, 2014—available from the WHO-CC section of the WHO website).

The purpose of WHO-CC is to:

  • support the implementation of the WHO’s planned trategic objectives at a regional and global level
  • enhance the scientific validity of its global work
  • develop and strengthen institutional capacity in countries and regions.

Further information about WHO CC is available on the WHO website.

WHO has designated a number of collaborating centres to work with it in the development, dissemination, maintenance and use of the WHO-FIC to support national and international health information systems, statistics and evidence. These centres belong to the WHO-FIC Network. Australia is represented on various WHO-FIC Network committees—see the WHO CC, Committees and Reference groups list (64KB PDF).


The activities of the ACC are based on the WHO-FIC Network Strategy and workplan. This is updated annually and endorsed at the annual Network meeting in October each year. The activities of the WHO-FIC, as noted in the annual workplan, can be found on the WHO website.

The goal of the ACC workplan is to guide the activity of the ACC according to its Terms of Reference (64KB PDF). The ACC is required to report its activities in its annual reports to the Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) and the WHO-FIC Network council. The ACC workplan is reviewed at the annual meeting of the ACC.

The ACC is also responsible for advising the National Health Information Standards and Statistics Committee (NHISSC) on the development of health and health-related classifications. NHISSC is a standing sub-committee of the National Health Information and Performance Principal Committee (NHIPPC), which is one of several principal committees that report to the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC).

Function 4 of the NHISSC Terms of Reference is ‘in conjunction with the Australian Collaborating Centre for the WHO Family of International Classifications, advise NHIPPC on the development, implementation and maintenance of the Australian Family of Health and related classifications (including endorsing classifications for inclusion in the Family) and endorse maps to classifications to be used for statistical reporting on national health information’.

Members of the ACC are active members of the International Group on Indigenous Health Measurement. This Group is a network of people from government and non-government arenas from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States who are united in their desire to improve the collection, analysis, dissemination and use of health information for Indigenous populations.

Education and training

A key role of the ACC is to prepare teaching materials and organise and conduct training courses on the implementation and use of members of the WHO-FIC in Australia and WHO regions.  ACC members contribute to the development of common international training tools and Internet-based applications.

Such tools include:

Details of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) and the work by the AIHW, as the Australian Collaborating Centre, participating with other World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centers in the preparation of the ICF can be found in the following disability data briefs.

Additional educational and advocacy material related to the WHO-FIC are available on the
WHO-FIC Education and Implementation Committee website.

Details of WHO-FIC related education and training activities conducted by individual ACC members can be found on the specific ACC member websites. 

For further information on education and training sessions, please contact the .


Membership of the Australian Collaborating Centre (ACC) is open to individuals in Australia and New Zealand who have a demonstrated interest and expertise in health classifications and terminologies. Membership of the ACC is at the discretion of the Head of the ACC.

Two categories of individuals are eligible for membership: expert individuals within organisations, and expert individuals without organisational affiliation.

Details of current members (128KB PDF) and their respective roles on WHO-FIC committees and reference groups (64KB PDF) are available for further information.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the ACC, please contact the .