Cultural Competency

As demographics change in communities across the country, the importance of staff training to enhance client-centered care and improve the delivery of culturally appropriate services is undeniable.

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Cultural Competency Training

The world in which we live is increasingly diverse in nature. Having the skills to work effectively across differences is essential to success in business, education, and life. Organizations rely on cultural sensitivity trainings as a strategy to ensure that staff have the skills that they need related to diversity and inclusion.


Too often, diversity trainings, also referred to as sensitivity trainings, focus primarily on simply acknowledging the differences that make each of us unique. The trainings advocate that cultural differences be valued. While important, this emphasis alone is generally insufficient.


Rather, effective cultural competence training must be followed by training designed to support the development of the practical skills one needs in order to interact more effectively with customers and team members from various backgrounds.   


Our cultural competency trainings are designed to build awareness, knowledge, and skills related to cultural difference through a variety of teaching methods including direct instruction, role playing, case studies, facilitated group discussions, and technology/media. Through these approaches, staff learn the skills need adapt to cultural difference.

As our world steadily becomes more diverse, it is essential that organizations explicitly focus on increasing their levels of proficiency. The ability to communicate across cultures  is essential to meeting the needs of an organization’s customers, whether in business or educational sectors. The Virtuoso Education Consulting team  supports organizations in developing   the awareness, knowledge, and skills required to  implement culturally responsive practices.   Using a 5-step approach, clients  develop proficiency in:

1. Understanding their personal levels of cultural proficiency,

2. Understanding  cultural variations in communication patterns that lead to misunderstanding

3. Understanding  cultural differences in patters of behaviors across cultures that impact  intercultural relationships,

4. Gaining skills necessary to manage the dynamics of cultural differences, and

5. Developing a data based action plan design to support  the organizations goals for cultural competency

At a systems, organizational or program level, cultural competence requires a comprehensive and coordinated plan that includes interventions on levels of:

This often requires the re-examination of mission statements; policies and procedures; administrative practices; staff recruitment, hiring and retention; professional development and in-service training; translation and interpretation processes; family/professional/community partnerships; health care practices and interventions including addressing racial/ethnic health disparities and access issues; health education and promotion practices/materials; and community and state needs assessment protocols.

At the individual level, this means an examination of one’s own attitude and values, and the acquisition of the values, knowledge, skills and attributes that will allow an individual to work appropriately in cross cultural situations.

Cultural competence mandates that organizations, programs and individuals must have the ability to:

A project for the National Center of Cultural Competence

National Education Association

American Academy of Family Physicians

U.S. Dept. Of Health and Human Svcs

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