What is the I-CAN?

The I-CAN is an online support needs assessment tool developed and owned by CDS. The tool is unique in its approach to considering supports for people with disability by moving away from a functional methodology and instead taking a person-centred, wholistic approach to what the person can achieve with particular supports in place.
The I-CAN considers 12 life “domains” and maps the person’s abilities and supports within each domain, with the objective of guiding best practice service delivery. The tool provides a snapshot of current support needs, as well as highlighting goals and future plans.
The I-CAN must be conducted by a Certified I-CAN Assessor.

About the Tool

The I-CAN stands for The Instrument for the Classification and Assessment of Support Needs.
The I-CAN was developed by CDS, based on extensive research into the need for an innovating, rigorous and robust system of identifying and classifying support needs. This research was funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant. The first version of the I-CAN was launched in 2002. Prior to this, the tool was known as the Support Classification and Assessment of Needs (SCAN). The I-CAN has been reviewed and updated regularly, with Version 6 launched in 2021.
The I-CAN is conceptually based on the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), and maps a person’s support needs to 12 domains.
For more information about the domains and the tool’s capabilities, please visit https://www.i-can.org.au/

Conducting I-CAN Assessments

The I-CAN is predominantly used by practitioners under the NDIS, for example when supporting a participant to access the scheme for the first time, undergoing plan reviews or when a participant’s circumstances are changing.
The I-CAN is also used to for non NDIS participants, including those with acquired disability and mental illness.

Becoming a Certified I-CAN Assessor

There are no formal qualifications required to become an I-CAN Assessor, however it is most suited to people with experience in clinical assessments and report writing. It is well suited to allied health practitioners.
The training and certification process includes:

  • Viewing a pre-training webinar and reviewing pre-reading materials
  • Attending a full day workshop
  • Completing an I-CAN assessment with a client that is submitted to CDS for feedback and review

For more information or to be added to the training mailing list, please email: annika.stollery@cds.org.au