About the I-CAN

The I-CAN is a wholistic support needs assessment tool designed for adults with disabilities. The tool can only be used by trained and certified I-CAN assessors.

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 i-can.org.au

Use of the Tool

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.

I-CAN Assessments

Who can become an I-CAN Facilitator?

I-CAN training is suitable for allied health and behaviour support practitioners. Other professions and individuals can apply and will be considered based on their relevant qualifications and experience.

Training and Certification Process and Costs

The total cost of training and certification is $500, which includes:

  • Attendance at 1 day online I-CAN v6 training, and associated materials
  • Access to the I-CAN v6 team for assistance with queries and tech issues
  • Review and certification process
  • Provisional license for 3 months from the date of training, in order to complete the certification process. Please note that the certification process must be completed within 3 months of the date of training, after which point access to the tool will be revoked.
  • Full license for 12 months from the date of training, subject to completion of certification requirements.

Please check here for upcoming training dates.


This is a one-day online workshop, with limited participant numbers to ensure a positive learning experience for all. Prior to attending the workshop participants are required to view a pre-recorded webinar and review pre-reading materials.

Participants will learn to facilitate I-CAN interviews with a person with disability and their circle of support, map support needs using the I-CAN v6 tool, and generate an individual support needs report which helps guide service delivery and planning.


To use the I-CAN in their practice,  participants must complete a certification process. This involves conducting an I-CAN assessment with a person that is submitted to CDS, with consent for review and feedback. Once finalised, the participant will be formally certified and have full access to the I-CAN tool This process will be discussed in more depth during the workshop.

Contact the I-CAN Team for more information: ican@cds.org.au

I-CAN DSOA Project

About the Project

CDS has been contracted by the Commonwealth Department of Health to provide support needs assessments for the Disability Supports for Older Australians (DSOA) cohort, using a customised version of the I-CAN tool.

The customised tool provides a breakdown of support required based on the client’s support needs, which is used to guide service provision under the DSOA Program. The tool can also be used to assess a client’s change of needs.

The Commonwealth Department of Health manage the referral process for these assessments. CDS is unable to accept direct assessment requests that have not followed the correct pathway.

Once CDS receives a referral, the assessment is completed by one of our pool of contracted Assessors, made up of predominantly allied health professionals. Assessors receive training in the use of the assessment tool, a licence to administer the tool, insurance and ongoing clinical and administrative support. To express interest in becoming an assessor please email icandsoa@cds.org.au.