The Robson 10 Group Classification System (TGCS) is a classification system by which all perinatal events and outcomes can be compared. The system classifies all pregnant women into one of 10 groups, that are mutually exclusive and, as a set, comprehensive.

The groups are based on five basic obstetric characteristics that are routinely collected for all maternities: parity, onset of labour, gestational age, foetal presentation and number of foetuses.

The classification is simple, robust, reproducible, clinically relevant, and prospective – which means that every woman admitted for delivery can be immediately classified into one of the groups based on these few basic characteristics. The Robson TGCS can be used to analyse all labour events and outcomes and significant epidemiological variables can be considered.

This system has been used extensively internationally to analyse caesarean deliveries. In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) endorsed the Robson TGCS as the global standard for assessing, monitoring, and comparing CS rates within and between healthcare facilities over time.

In Ireland, The Robson TGCS has been endorsed by the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Health Service Executive Clinical Care Programme in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

What can the Robson Classification do for you?

WHO expects that the use of the Robson Classification will help health care facilities to:
•Identify and analyze the groups of women which contribute most and least to overall CS rates.
•Compare practice in these groups of women with other units who have more desirable results and consider changes in practice.
•Assess the effectiveness of strategies or interventions targeted at optimizing the use of CS.
•Assess the quality of care and of clinical management practices by analyzing outcomes by groups of women.
•Assess the quality of the data collected and raise staff awareness about the importance of this data, interpretation and use.

Robson Classification: Implementation Manual. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2017. Licence: CCBY-NC-SA3.0IGO.

Image courtesy of World Health Organization WHO statement on caesarean section rates Executive summary, 2015