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How to ensure that programmatic and operational plans address cultural competence issues, and how to assess the level cultural competence in these plans.

Why is it important?

Cultural competence in planning, monitoring and evaluation results in services that effectively meet the needs of current clients and communities, and are flexible enough to respond to changing circumstances and emerging populations.

Client, community and staff input



  • Culturally and linguistically diverse communities are represented on relevant planning and monitoring committees.
  • Staff, clients and relevant communities have input into cultural competence plans.
  • Staff, clients and relevant communities have input into the monitoring and evaluation of cultural competence activities.
  • Staff and consumers actively participate in planning, monitoring and evaluation.

Good practice example

A local council establishes a CALD working group to inform its diversity plan. The working group includes council staff, a representative from the local migrant resource centre and CALD consumer representatives. The group identifies culturally competent initiatives for the diversity plan and ensures that a staff member is responsible for their implementation and evaluation.

Plans and their implementation



  • Planning documents, including budget allocations, address cultural competence issues.
  • A cultural competence plan is created and implemented.

Good practice example

When developing its cultural competence plan, a mental health service includes a column for identifying and allocating the resources required to implement each aspect of the plan.

Collection and use of information



  • Data collected from and about clients and target communities is used to inform planning.
  • All areas of the organisation (eg policy, programs, operations) collect and have access to relevant data.
  • The implementation and results of cultural competence activities are monitored and evaluated as part of quality improvement processes.

Good practice example

To inform its planning, a community health centre makes it mandatory for all programs to collect data on clients’ country of birth, ethnicity, language(s) spoken at home, preferred language and need for an interpreter.


This tip sheet is based on Indicators of Cultural Competence in Health Care Delivery Organisations: An Organisational Cultural Competence Assessment Profile , prepared by the Lewin Group Inc. under contract with the USA Department of Health and Human Services (2002).

Links to the seven domains of the cultural competence framework

The eight tip sheets in this series cover different domains. These domains are interrelated and provide a comprehensive framework for assessing and improving cultural competence.

A framework for Cultural Competence

This is the first in a series of tip sheets on cultural competence in the health sector. It provides a definition and performance standards.


How to embed cultural competence in your organisation’s advisory bodies, policies, standards and goals.

Planning, monitoring & evaluation

How to ensure that programmatic and operational plans address cultural competence issues, and how to track and assess your organisation’s progress.


How to support the effective and culturally appropriate exchange of information between your organisation and its clients, and between staff members.

Staff development

How to equip staff and service providers with the attitudes, knowledge and skills needed to deliver culturally competent services.

Organisational infrastructure

How to identify and allocate the resources needed to plan, deliver and evaluate culturally competent services.

Services & intervention

How to deliver or facilitate clinical, public health or health-related services in a culturally competent manner.

Organisational values

How to demonstrate the value that your organisation places on cultural competence.

Languages: English

Resource Type: Tip/Fact Sheets