classification code compliance

Compliance with the 2015 IPC Athlete Classification Code (the Code) is crucial in order to achieve the aim of a consistent, structured and effective approach to Classification across Para sport. This page provides details on who must be compliant with the Code, why maintaining compliance is so important, and what activities the IPC has undertaken on Code Compliance.

The Code: 

The Code is the fundamental document upon which Classification in the Paralympic Movement is based. The purpose of the Code is to maintain confidence in Classification and promote participation by a wide range of Athletes. The Code, along with the International Standards, achieve this purpose by detailing universal procedures in Classification and setting principles to be applied by all Para sports. The Code is therefore intended to be specific enough to achieve harmonisation on Classification where standardisation is required and general enough in other areas to permit flexibility regarding the implementation of its principles. 

Compliance with the Code and International Standards is mandatory for the Code Signatories, which is crucial in order to achieve the aim of having a consistent, structured, effective and fit-for-purpose Classification across Para sports. 

Code Compliance: 

A well-functioning Classification System is paramount for upholding and strengthening the integrity of Para sport. Classification is unique to Para sport and it is an ever-evolving area, therefore maintaining Code Compliance and following best practice models is the optimum way for Para sports to instill confidence that their Classification system is fit and proper. Moreover, maintaining Code Compliance enables fair and competitive sport decided by sporting excellence. 

The IPC’s aim is to encourage a positive culture on Code Compliance and foster a shared commitment to the principles of Classification. This can be achieved by encouraging dialogue, supporting members in proactively addressing Classification issues and helping to mitigate risks. It is therefore crucial that members engage with the IPC on Code Compliance matters. 



The Code applies to the following sport organisations that form the membership of the IPC: 

  • International Sport Federations (IFs) 

  • National Paralympic Committees (NPCs)  

  • International Organisations of Sport for the Disabled (IOSDs) 

  • Regional Organisations  

  • Recognised International Federations (RIFs)

    Article 12 of the Code details the roles and responsibilities of the above signatory groups. The Code Compliance responsibilities will vary between each group. It is the responsibility of the IPC, as the governing body of the Paralympic Movement, to develop, maintain, and monitor the Code Compliance of the membership. The Code stipulates at Article 13 that all members have a duty to report on their Code Compliance to the IPC. Our compliance activities may therefore include information requests, surveys, audits, monitoring reports and compliance visits. There will always be a primary emphasis on encouraging open dialogue on compliance matters.

    While the focus of Code Compliance activities is on the above Code Signatories, the Code applies to a range of stakeholders, including Classifiers, Athletes and Support Personnel.

compliance ACTIVITIES

2022 Classification Survey 

The Classification Survey has been sent to IFs, Recognised International Federations (RIFs) and International Organisations of Sports for the Disabled (IOSDs) that act as an IF for certain sports. The key aims of the survey are to encourage dialogue on Code Compliance, as well as gathering information on Classification. This information will be used to form a new Code Compliance strategy. 

Classification Survey 

2017/18 Code Compliance exercise 

In accordance with article 13.1, all IFs and RIFs were required to have Code Compliant Classification Rules by no later than 1 January 2018. In order to be confirmed as Code Compliant, each set of Classification Rules were required to have been reviewed and approved by the IPC. This was a considerable task on both sides. The assessments were carried out in accordance with the International Federation Compliance Review Strategy dated January 2017. The Classification Rules were assessed against twelve criteria to decide on their Code Compliance. 

2017 International Federation Compliance Review Strategy  


1. Classification Model Rules for International Sport Federations   

Classification Model Rules have been developed to assist the membership with the implementation of the 2015 IPC Athlete Classification Code and are readily accessible for International Federations to adopt them as their Classification Rules.  

Please see Classification Model Rules for Para Sport.  

2. Models of Best Practice  

The revised 2015 IPC Athlete Classification Code is supplemented by Models of Best Practice which offer examples of excellence related to Classification. All members of the Paralympic Movement are strongly encouraged to adopt all or parts of the Models of Best Practice.  

Models of Best Practice: National Classification  

Models of Best Practice: Choice of Sport Class for Multiple Impairments* (found within the IPC Handbook)

Models of Best Practice: Sport Class Changes following First Appearance* (found within the IPC Handbook)

 *Developed under the 2007 Classification Code and are incorporated in current 2015 IPC Athlete Classification code.

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