Communication Function Classification System (CFCS)

The CFCS is a tool used to classify the everyday communication of an individual with cerebral palsy into one of five levels according to effectiveness of communication. It consists of five levels which describe everyday communication ability.

Classification on the CFCS is made by a person who is familiar with the individual’s communication in everyday situations.

Classification is based on the effectiveness of communication between a sender and receiver of information.

CFCS considers the familiarity of a person’s communication partners.

All ways of communicating are considered including speech, gesture, facial expression and augmentative and alternative communication.

A person classified at Level I is a more able communicator than a person classified at Level V.

CFCS Levels

CFCS Level I

A person independently and effectively alternates between being a sender and receiver of information with most people in most environments.


A person independently alternates between being a sender and receiver with most people in most environments but the conversation may be slower.


A person usually communicates effectively with familiar communication partners, but not unfamiliar partners, in most environments.


The person is not always consistent at communicating with familiar communication partners.

CFCS Level V

A person is seldom able to communicate effectively even with familiar people.

See CFCS. Communication Function Classification System website for more information

(Update: 18 Nov 2015)