Course Title: Work effectively with culturally diverse clients and co-workers

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: EMPL5932C

Course Title: Work effectively with culturally diverse clients and co-workers

School: 365T Global, Urban & Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4357 - Certificate IV in Community Services Work

Course Contact : Zaina Nehme

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4552

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Jo Wallwork

Nominal Hours: 20

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

Not applicable.

Course Description

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

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

HLTHIR403C Work effectively with culturally diverse clients and co-workers


1. Reflect cultural awareness in work practice

Performance Criteria:

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

Performance Criteria:

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

Performance Criteria:

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

Performance Criteria:

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

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course you will have developed and applied the skills and knowledge required to demonstrate competency in the above elements.

Details of Learning Activities

All courses and learning activities will be supported and complemented by RMIT’s learning management tool "Blackboard". Other essential learning activities will take place during the workshops, and you will also be required to undertake independent studies. Some of the learning activities that you will undertake are:

  • Class exercises
  • Demonstrations (role plays)
  • Observations
  • Group discussions
  • Class presentations
  • Case studies
  • Quizzes
  • Group activities

Teaching Schedule

This course has been grouped for delivery and is part of a cluster called: Being an effective and efficient CS worker. The other courses forming this cluster are: CHCCS400C Work within a relevant and ethical framework, CHCCS411C Work effectively in the community sector and CHCORG405E Maintain an effective work environment. The delivery schedule for this cluster is found below:

Law in Australia – introduction and relevance to cs

Interpersonal skills and communication skills required for community services work

  • Introduction to cluster
  • Legislative structure in Australia – overview, group work
  • Human Rights in Australia – look at Youtube
  • Acts – what these are, look at state and commonwealth
  • Values and philosophy of CS – identify these (group work)
  • Look at those you will be communicating & working with- (from unit) - clients, supervisor, volunteers, other service providers, peers (elicit list)
  • What does effective communication & interpersonal skills look like?
  • What changes to our thinking when we talk about communication and interpersonal skills when working with culturally diverse clients and co-workers?
2Duty of care


Culturally appropriate work practices

  • Duty of care
  • Confidentiality
  • Law
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Codes of practice 
  • Consider culture as factor in all human behaviour –
  • What do culturally appropriate work practices look like?
3Legal responsibilities as CS worker

Rights & Responsibility

Cultural and individual difference in the workplace

  • What are your legal responsibilities and obligations in community services work?
  • Visit to Magistrate’s Court
  • Rights & Responsibilities for others
  • Employer Employee Rights & Responsibilities
  • What is cultural diversity?
4Ethics and CS work

Accuracy in communication (strategies)

Work Role and compliance issues

  • How do ethics fit within CS work? Group activity
  • Ethical complexities of CS role
  • Look at ethical decision-making models
  • How to support accuracy in communication (giving/receiving) information
  • Work role – what this is, and how to set it/agree upon this.
  • The importance of having a clear work role – how to work to it, and recognise when it needs adjustment
  • Time frames and meeting objectives – specific organisational strategies, look at these
  • Meeting contingencies – what does this mean?
  • How to manage contingencies
  • Harassment, Infection Control, WHS, Workplace behaviours)
  • Organisation mission statement –(values statement) – look at examples in CS sector – cultural statements in these
Person-centred practice
Equal Opportunity law

  • Values – identifying own values and how these affect role as CS worker
  • Competing value systems
  • Problem-solving around competing values
  • Boundaries in terms of CS work role
  • Look at guidelines and requirements relating to disclosure and confidentiality
  • Person-centred approach in regards to work role
  • Look at person-centred theory
  • Creating a culturally & psychologically safe work environment
  • Strategies to embed in own personal work practices
  • How to review and monitor own work practices
  • Why you need to and how you can do this
  • Equal Opportunity law – review these
6Ethical Dilemmas
  • Ethical dilemma
  • How can this be resolved in the workplace
  • Rights of the client – primacy of this (case study activity)
  • Recognising unethical conduct
  • Who to refer breach of ethics to (in the work place)
  • Specify strategy for this, who & how
  • Conflict, what this is and how to deal with this
  • Look at conflict resolution structure/ examination of self in conflict situations
  • Well-being of colleagues
  • Recognising problem
  • Eliciting information
  • Supporting
  • Knowing organisational procedure
  • Linking colleague with relevant person
  • Ongoing support
  • Conflict of interest – what this is and how to avoid/address this
  • Conflict of interest in regards to CS role
  • Advocates – what is their role?
  • Look at services that provide this
  • How to refer clients to advocacy services (consider communication skills and particular procedures for this)
  • Working with clients and their advocates – supporting them in identifying and expressing their concerns (demonstrate skills for doing this
  • Know the different section of CS (different organisations)
  • What are the different roles of these services?
  • Teams – what they are, what they do
  • Pros and cons
  • Look at formal/ informal team meetings
  • Make up of teams – can be made up of workers from outside own organisation
  • Look at protocols for communication and privacy issues (scenario activity)
8Respectful Communication
  • Policies, protocols and procedures
  • What these are
  • What they do
  • How they guide work role/behaviour
  • An example is complaints procedures
  • Collaboration- between services
  • What are the specific skills required by CS worker to communicate and collaborate with other CS services?
  • Group work to identify skills/skills development
  • Why is it important to collaborate
  • Respectful communication – how to know when you aren’t doing it. What to do when you’ve done it wrong
  • Consider:
    • Verbal
    • Gestures (facial/physical expression)
    • Posture
    • Writing
    • Signage
    • How to work with an interpreter/other person
    • Consider specific skills to develop trust and confidence
9Organisational goals & objectives
Complaints – policy & procedures
Team leader – specific role and skills

  • Complaints – what are the identified policy & protocols for these?
  • How to follow the policy and protocols for these and why you need to
  • Review of policies, etc, - why/when/how would you review policies and procedures (examples, group work, brainstorm)
  • How can you contribute to review?
  • Organisational goals and objectives –
  • What these are and
  • How they should guide our work practices (specifically)
  • Contribute to identifying and implementing improvements to work practices
  • Being team-leader – how
  • Look at negotiating difficult situations within teams
  • Identify some scenarios (and some ready to solve)
  • Develop strategies to resolve them
  • Language barrier
  • How to negotiate this barrier
  • Specific ways to communicate as effectively as you can when there is a language barrier
  • Specific skills to develop trust and confidence
10Job role and duty of care requirements


  • CS job role –
  • Know own job role in relation to Duty of Care – review duty of care
  • Recognising witnessed signs of abuse and how to report this to appropriate person
  • Mandatory notification – where this needs to happen
  • Conflict situations based on cultural sensitivities
  • Look at some examples
  • Analyse difficulties and misunderstandings in light of cultural difference (case studies – activity)
  • Resolving these difficulties and misunderstandings
11Personal skills development as CS worker
Supporting client to report abuse
Reflective practice and skills development

  • Supporting client to report abuse
  • Rights of the client
  • How do we become better/excellent CS workers?
  • Look at personal skills development
  • How to monitor own performance against needs of organisation, clients
  • How to improve and develop own skills and knowledge
  • What this is
  • Why you, as CS worker, should do this
  • Review of unit
  • Using interpreters – case study activity
  • Culturally specific communication skills – review this
  • Reflective practice
  • Need to know: why and how to do reflective practice
  • Specific strategies to do this
  • How to actively seek feedback and accept non-defensively
  • And how to give feedback – look at specific techniques and strategies

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

No prescribed textbook required.


Other Resources

You will be provided with the resources and tools for learning in this course. This resources will also be available through Blackboard. You will also have access to the resources in the library at RMIT.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this cluster is based on completion of several tasks consisting of short answer questions, quizzes, class presentations, research projects and portfolio production.

Assessment Tasks

For the cluster "Being an effective and efficient CS worker" you will need to complete the tasks below:

Assessment task 1- Case study & short-answer questions: Case study to be based on cultural diversity in the workplace – working with co-workers from different cultural backgrounds, communicating effectively in workplace (clients/families, co-workers, other staff,) including working with language barriers and using interpreters.

Assessment task 2 - Quiz (part A): Quiz will contain questions based on legislation and Common Law relating to role of CS worker.

Assessment task 3 - PPT/presentation: This project will be based on the “community work practice standards” – for each of the 6 standards you will create a PowerPoint which states the standard and your response to it, examples of how each standard can be achieved, your personal thoughts about them, give some sort of idea of how and why they are essential for the CS worker.

Assessment task 4 - Research project: For this task you will choose a cultural group within Melbourne and research information that will enable you to work more effectively as a CS worker with this cultural group.

Assessment task 5 - Case study and short-answer questions: This case study will examine some of the legal and ethical concerns of the CS worker. You will examine a particular situation and respond with a strategy that takes into account your duty of care responsibilities and the particular requirements of the client.

Assessment task 6 - Project: For this project you will focus on specific strategies for eliminating bias and discrimination in the workplace (this will include equal employment opportunity, sex, race, disability, ant-discrimination & similar legislation).

Assessment task 7 - Design project (poster): You need to design a poster for the workplace. Your supervisor is unhappy about some employees and their work practices and has asked you to design a poster to be placed prominently for employees to be reminded about certain basic things re the CS workplace.

Assessment task 8 - Case study project: You have been newly appointed team leader and have been asked to provide basic induction training for a group of volunteers and students on work placement who will be working on a project for your CS organisation.

Assessment task 9 - Quiz part B: Quiz will contain questions based on legislation and Common Law relating to role of CS worker.

Assessment task 10 - Project (based on speakers) Students prepare questions: then use some of these questions and the questions provided to write-up every speaker, answering as many of the questions as is appropriate to that speaker. Should be about 5-6 speakers.

Assessment task 11 - Case study and short-answer questions: Case study based on work role; having to define work role and responsibilities with manager, having problem with work plans and needing to re-negotiate this.

Assessment task 12 - Evidence Portfolio, this portfolio will include:

Responses to tasks completed in class-based activities, including a Glossary (developed in each class)
Personal reflections – based on speakers, class-based activities (visual and aural material), work placement
Discussion of how work role (in work placement) fits the position description and how it fits into the organisation
Samples of relevant forms, documentation, and other material gathered from an appropriate work place environment (probably the work placement)

Assessment Matrix

This program in delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment, grades include:

CA: Competency Achieved
NYC: Not Yet Competent
DNS: Did Not Submit for assessment

Other Information

Assessment Tasks Submission Cover Sheet
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.

It is strongly advised that you attend all workshops in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

You will receive verbal and written feedback by teacher on your work. This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your competency. Information regarding student feedback can be found at:;ID=9pp3ic9obks7

Student Progress
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential. The Student progress policy can be found at:;ID=vj2g89cve4uj1

Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)
All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension. Information regarding application for special consideration can be found at:;ID=g43abm17hc9w

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. For more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity Web site:;ID=kw02ylsd8z3n

Course Overview: Access Course Overview