The goal of this study was to propose a systematic classification of relevant personal factors for describing the background of an individual's life and way of living. The German Society of Social Medicine and Prevention constituted an ICF working group consisting of members from Medical Advisory Boards of Statutory Health Insurances (n = 6) and other institutions (n = 12) in 2009. A two-tier consensus building approach was utilised to construct and document the personal factors, with an initial team of experts compiling the personal factors and a second group of experts, who had not participated in developing the initial proposal, validating the process. The consensus process resulted in personal factors classified into 72 categories and arranged in six chapters as follows: general factors normally unchangeable (chapter 1); a person's inherent physical and mental constitution (chapters 2 and 3); more modifiable factors, such as attitudes, basic skills and behaviour patterns (chapter 4); life situation and socioeconomic/sociocultural factors (chapter 5); and other health factors e.g., prior interventions (chapter 6). We believe the personal factors from this effort to be a good basis for a wider global dialogue on their operationalisation.