• HLTHIR403C - Work effectively with culturally diverse clients and co-workers

Work effectively with culturally diverse clients and co-workers

This unit deals with the cultural awareness required for effective communication and cooperation with persons of diverse cultures


Work will be within a prescribed range of functions involving known routines and procedures with some accountability for the quality of outcomes

The workplace context may be:

Specific community

Community or regional service

Department of a large institution or organisation

Specialised service or organisation

Application of this unit should be contextualised to reflect any requirements, issues and practices specific to each workplace


Not Applicable

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Reflect cultural awareness in work practice

1.1 Demonstrate awareness of culture as a factor in all human behaviour by using culturally appropriate work practices

1.2 Use work practices that create a culturally and psychologically safe environment for all persons

1.3 Review and modify work practices in consultation with persons from diverse cultural backgrounds

2. Accept cultural diversity as a basis for effective work place and professional relationships

2.1 Show respect for cultural diversity in all communication and interactions with co-workers, colleagues and clients

2.2 Use specific strategies to eliminate bias and discrimination in the workplace

2.3 Contribute to the development of work place and professional relationships based on acceptance of cultural diversity

3. Communicate effectively with culturally diverse persons

3.1 Show respect for cultural diversity in all communication with clients, families, staff and others

3.2 Use communication constructively to develop and maintain effective relationships, mutual trust and confidence

3.3 Where language barriers exist, make efforts to communicate in the most effective way possible

3.4 Seek assistance from interpreters or other persons as required

4. Resolve cross-cultural misunderstandings

4.1 Identify issues that may cause conflict

4.2 If difficulties or misunderstandings occur, consider the impact of cultural differences

4.3 Make an effort to sensitively resolve differences, taking account of cultural considerations

4.4 Address any difficulties with appropriate people and seek assistance when required

Required Skills

This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Essential knowledge:

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes knowledge of:

Availability of resources and assistance within and external to the organisation in relation to cultural diversity issues

Own cultural conceptions and pre-conceptions and perspective of diverse cultures

Recognition of cultural diversity in Australian society with many individuals living in many cultures

Recognition of cultural influences and changing cultural practices in Australia and its impact on diverse communities that make up Australian society

Recognition of culture as a dynamic social phenomenon

Recognition of culture as a range of social practices and beliefs evolving over time

Recognition of impact of cultural practices and experiences on personal behaviour, interpersonal relationships, perception and social expectations of others

Recognition of the unique way individuals may experience a culture and respond to past experiences

Recognition that the word 'normal' is a value-laden, excluding concept that often precludes acknowledgment of the diversity of people, their life experiences and situations

The principles of equal employment opportunity, sex, race, disability, anti-discrimination and similar legislation and the implications for work and social practices

The role and use of language and cultural interpreters

Essential skills:

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes the ability to:

Apply culturally respectful practices in the workplace and to demonstrate respect and inclusiveness of culturally diverse people in all work practices

Form effective workplace relationships with co-workers and colleagues of diverse backgrounds and cultures

Participate in identifying and implementing culturally safe work practices

Respond respectfully and sensitively to cultural beliefs and practices that may cause harm

Sensitively and respectfully communicate with persons of diverse backgrounds and cultures

Use basic conflict resolution and negotiation skills

Use effective strategies to address and eliminate discrimination and bias in the workplace

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate this competency unit:

The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills

This unit is most appropriately assessed in the workplace or a simulated workplace environment under the normal range of work conditions

Assessment should be conducted on more than one occasion to cover a variety of circumstances to establish consistency

Holistic assessment of this competency unit is encouraged, to ensure application of these skills in conjunction with specific work functions but the unit may be delivered and assessed independently

Access and equity considerations:

All workers in the health industry should be aware of access and equity issues in relation to their own area of work

All workers should develop their ability to work in a culturally diverse environment

In recognition of particular health issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, workers should be aware of cultural, historical and current issues impacting on health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Assessors and trainers must take into account relevant access and equity issues, in particular relating to factors impacting on health of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities

Range Statement

The Range Statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Work practices may relate to:

Dealing with persons of diverse gender, sexuality and age

Compliance with duty of care policies of the organisation

Collection and provision of information


Provision of assistance

Contact with families and carers

Physical contact

Care of deceased persons

Handling personal belongings

Provision of food services

Work practices that are culturally appropriate would be non-discriminatory and free of bias, stereotyping, racism and prejudice.

Cultural diversity may include:




Cultural norms and values


Beliefs and customs

Kinship and family structure and relationships

Personal history and experience, which may have been traumatic

Gender and gender relationships




Special needs

Communication may be:


Appropriate gestures and facial and physical expressions




Through an interpreter or other person

Strategies to eliminate bias and discrimination may include:

Cross cultural work teams

Cross cultural employee representation on committees

Workplace free of culturally insensitive literature, posters, signage

Inclusion in decision-making


Not Applicable

Employability Skills

This unit contains Employability Skills

Licensing Information

Not Applicable