Unit of competency details

SITXCOM002A - Work in a socially diverse environment (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SITXCOM201 - Show social and cultural sensitivityTitled changed to better reflect the intent and content of the unit and for simplicity. Some Performance Criteria reordered for logical sequencing. Additional Performance Criteria and Required knowledge covering anti-discrimination. Equal employment opportunity deleted - not relevant to this unit. 17/Jan/2013
Supersedes and is equivalent to THHCOR02B - Work in a socially diverse environment 31/Dec/2010

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 01/Jan/2011

Training packages that include this unit

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
SIT10207 - Certificate I in HospitalityCertificate I in Hospitality
SIT30407 - Certificate III in Tourism (Visitor Information Services)Certificate III in Tourism (Visitor Information Services)
SIT30707 - Certificate III in HospitalityCertificate III in Hospitality
SIT40307 - Certificate IV in HospitalityCertificate IV in Hospitality
SIT30307 - Certificate III in Tourism (Tour Wholesaling)Certificate III in Tourism (Tour Wholesaling)
SIT30907 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Asian Cookery)Certificate III in Hospitality (Asian Cookery)
SIT40207 - Certificate IV in TourismCertificate IV in Tourism
SIT30607 - Certificate III in EventsCertificate III in Events
SIT40407 - Certificate IV in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)Certificate IV in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)
SIT20509 - Certificate II in Holiday Parks and ResortsCertificate II in Holiday Parks and Resorts
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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 25/Nov/2008 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to be culturally aware when serving customers and working with colleagues from diverse backgrounds. It requires the ability to communicate with people of different social and cultural backgrounds with respect and sensitivity and address cross-cultural misunderstandings.

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

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit describes a fundamental communication skill for those working within the service industries and applies to the full range of industry sectors and environments. All personnel at all levels would apply this skill, but it does describe a basic operational level of communication of minimal complexity.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 


Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

The required outcomes described in this unit of competency contain applicable facets of employability skills. The Employability Skills Summary of the qualification in which this unit is packaged will assist in identifying employability skills requirements.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

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

Elements and Performance Criteria




Communicate with customers and colleagues from diverse backgrounds.


Value customers and colleagues from different cultural groups and treat them with respect and sensitivity.


Take into consideration cultural differences  in all verbal and non-verbal communication.


Make attempts to overcome language barriers  by communicating through the use of gestures, sign language, or simple words in English or the other person's language.


Obtain assistance from colleagues, reference books or outside organisations  when required.


Address cross-cultural misunderstandings.


Identify issues that may cause conflict or misunderstanding in the workplace.


Address difficulties with appropriate people and seek assistance from team leaders or others where required.


Consider possible cultural differences  when difficulties or misunderstandings occur.


Make efforts to resolve misunderstandings, taking account of cultural considerations.


Refer problems and unresolved issues to the appropriate team leader or supervisor for follow-up.

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

The following skills must be assessed as part of this unit:

  • literacy skills to read and understand any workplace equal employment opportunity (EEO) and anti-discrimination policies and plain English information documents produced by government information agencies
  • basic communication skills to identify and attempt to resolve misunderstandings which may be due to cross-cultural issues.

The following knowledge must be assessed as part of this unit:

  • principles that underpin cultural awareness
  • overview of general characteristics and key aspects of the main social and cultural groups in Australian society, including Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, sufficient to aid cross-cultural understanding
  • overview of general characteristics of various international tourist groups appropriate to sector and individual workplace to enable their identification
  • basic knowledge of types of disability and implications for the workplace
  • principles and basic knowledge of EEO and anti-discrimination legislation as they apply to individual employees, and any associated workplace policies.

Evidence Guide


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 competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • social and cultural understanding and sensitivity in responding to different types of customers and colleagues
  • ability to identify and respond to the cultural context of the workplace
  • ability to apply knowledge of different cultures and cultural characteristics appropriately when communicating with colleagues and customers
  • ability to communicate effectively with customers and colleagues from a broad range of backgrounds and on different operational activities that are relevant to the particular organisation and job role.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • ability to communicate with colleagues and customers in a culturally sensitive manner while undertaking operational activities within a commercially realistic environment
  • access to EEO and anti-discrimination policies and any plain English information documents produced by government information agencies.

Methods of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess the practical skills and knowledge required to communicate with culturally diverse customers and colleagues. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • observation of the candidate interacting with colleagues and customers from diverse cultural and social backgrounds
  • case studies or projects to consider particular conflict situations arising from diversity and to suggest appropriate means of resolving them
  • questions about cultural values and differences and effective communication and problem-solving techniques
  • written and oral questioning or interview to test knowledge of EEO and anti-discrimination legislative issues and workplace policies
  • review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • SITXCCS002A Provide quality customer service
  • SITXCOM001A Work with colleagues and customers
  • SITXLAN1__A Conduct basic workplace oral communication in a language other than English.

Assessing employability skills 

Employability skills are integral to effective performance in the workplace and are broadly consistent across industry sectors. How these skills are applied varies between occupations and qualifications due to the different work functions and contexts.

Employability skills embedded in this unit should be assessed holistically with other relevant units that make up the skill set or qualification and in the context of the job role.

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 in the performance criteria is detailed below.

Cultural differences  may relate to:

  • race
  • language
  • special needs
  • disabilities
  • family structure
  • gender
  • age
  • sexual preference.

Attempts to overcome language barriers  may include:

  • meet, greet and farewell customers
  • give simple directions
  • give simple instructions
  • answer simple enquiries
  • prepare for, serve and assist customers
  • describe goods and services.

Outside organisations  may include:

  • interpreter services
  • diplomatic services
  • local cultural organisations
  • appropriate government agencies
  • educational institutions
  • disability advocacy groups.

Possible cultural differences  and needs may include:

  • language spoken
  • forms of address
  • levels of formality or informality
  • varied cultural interpretation of non-verbal behaviour
  • work ethics
  • personal grooming, including dress and hygiene habits
  • family and social obligations and status
  • observance of special religious, feasts or other celebratory days
  • customs, beliefs and values
  • product preferences.

Unit Sector(s)



Competency field

Competency field 

Communication and Teamwork