Unit of competency details

SFICOMP205B - Communicate effectively in cross-cultural environments (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to SFICOMP205A - Communicate effectively in cross-cultural environmentsEmployability skills and licensing statements added; minor rewording; template changes 21/Jul/2011
Is superseded by and equivalent to SFICPL204 - Communicate effectively in cross-cultural environmentsUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages 20/Jun/2019

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 22/Jul/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 120505 Work Practices Programmes 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 120505 Work Practices Programmes 07/Aug/2012 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency involves interacting with confidence with those from cultures different to one's own using culturally appropriate verbal and non-verbal communications.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Refer to Unit Descriptor


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Use verbal and non-verbal communication in a culturally sensitive manner

1.1. Cultural differences  of the client are identified.

1.2. A rapport with the client is established to facilitate further conversation.

1.3. Conventions of conversation  and language patterns are respected.

1.4. Language and concepts used are appropriate to the client.

1.5. Gestures and non-verbal communication used are appropriate.

1.6. Dress and attitude are appropriate for client interaction.

2. Interact with clients in a culturally appropriate way

2.1. Strategies  for developing effective cross-cultural relationships are used.

2.2. Barriers to effective cross -cultural communication  are identified and addressed to maintain effective relationships.

2.3. Strategies for resolving differences or misunderstandings are used.

2.4. Resources  to facilitate effective communication within the workplace are identified and used.

2.5. Compliance requirements are based on culturally appropriate practices.

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • demonstrating respect for people and their culture
  • identifying culturally-safe work practices
  • making and maintaining cross-cultural relationships
  • using verbal and non-verbal communication techniques to sensitively and respectfully communicate in a cross-cultural context.

Literacy skills used for :

  • illustrating compliance requirements.

Required knowledge 

  • differences between cultures, particularly the cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and others
  • fundamental patterns of cultural difference, including:
  • approaches to completing tasks
  • approaches to knowing
  • attitudes to conflict
  • attitudes to disclosure
  • communication styles
  • decision-making styles
  • interpreter resources
  • legislation and policies relevant to access and equity that may include:
  • commonwealth, state or territory legislation
  • community standards and regulations
  • industry codes of practice
  • organisational policies, procedures and practices
  • past and present power relations and their impact on the workplace
  • racism and discrimination and laws pertaining to these issues
  • understanding words and actions of people from differing backgrounds:
  • non-verbal communication conventions
  • verbal communication conventions.

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment evidence required to demonstrate competence in this unit 

Assessment must confirm the ability to:

  • communicate effectively and sensitively within a cross-cultural context.

Assessment must confirm knowledge of:

  • cultural differences and their impact on the appropriate use of verbal and non-verbal communication
  • barriers to effective cross-cultural communication.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment is to be conducted at the workplace or in a simulated work environment. Evidence of competency may be gathered over time and from a range of actual or simulated situations.

Resources may include:

  • agency policies and procedures.

Method of assessment 

The following assessment methods are suggested:

  • role-play or simulation
  • observation of practical demonstration
  • scenarios or case studies
  • written or oral short-answer testing.

Guidance information for assessment 

This unit may be assessed holistically with other units within a qualification.

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. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. 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) may also be included.

Communication  may include:

  • gender specific
  • gestures
  • signs
  • verbal and non-verbal
  • written.

Cultural differences  may include:

  • interpersonal approach
  • perceived authority
  • priorities
  • responsibilities
  • terms of reference
  • thinking and learning styles
  • values and beliefs.

Conventions of conversation  may include:

  • affirmation
  • assertiveness
  • eye contact
  • questioning techniques
  • time orientation
  • use of names.

Strategies for developing effective cross -cultural communication  may include:

  • general guidelines and standards for approaching specific tasks and issues
  • mutual respect
  • relevant concepts and information presented using:
  • diagrams
  • flow charts
  • graphs
  • interactive multimedia
  • pictures
  • tables
  • video camera images
  • visual or iconic representations
  • workplace induction programs.

Barriers to effective cross -cultural communication  may include:

  • assumptions
  • power imbalance
  • racist and prejudiced attitudes
  • socioeconomic
  • stereotypes and generalisations
  • structural.

Strategies for resolving differences  may include:

  • mediation
  • negotiation of culturally appropriate guidelines
  • workplace codes of practice.

Resources  may include:

  • people identified with appropriate cross-cultural knowledge
  • reference groups
  • workplace designed to accommodate cultural needs
  • workplace policies and procedures.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Fisheries compliance

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

Competency field

Competency field