What is Gross Motor Function Classification System

What is Gross Motor Function Classification System


The GMFCS is a classification system, the Gross Motor Function Classification System designed to describe levels of functioning.

Level 1

Children walk at home, school, outdoors, and in the community. They can climb stairs without the use of railing. Children perform gross motor skills such as running and jumping, but speed, balance and coordination are limited.

Level 2
Illustration showing person needing to hold onto a rail when walking up stairs

Children walk in most settings and climb stairs holding onto railing. They may experience difficulty walking long distances and balancing on uneven terrain, inclines, in crowded areas or confined spaces. Children may walk with physical assistance, a hand-held mobility device or use wheeled mobility over long distances. Children have only minimal ability to perform gross motor skills such as running and jumping.

Level 3
Illustration titled level 3 showing 2 images one of a person using crutches and the other a person using a wheelchair.

Children walk using a hand-held mobility device in most indoor settings. They may climb stairs holding onto a railing with supervision or assistance. Children use wheeled mobility when traveling long distances and may self-propel for shorter distances.

Level 4

People in level 4 use a wheelchair, but often have the ability to use it independently. Whether it's a power wheelchair or occasionally a manual chair.

Level 5

People in level 5 are people who are full-time wheelchair users and need quite a lot of support for posture and body control.