Cultural Competency Staircase Model

Where are you at?

Step 1


  • fail to recognise the significance of cultural influences when planning care
  • might have completed studies before cultural content was introduced or have limited previous exposure to culturally diverse clients

Step 2

  • growing awareness of culture’s influence on health
  • limited self awareness or knowledge about other cultural groups

Step 3

  • begun to develop cultural self-awareness
  • begun to acquire cultural knowledge about one or two culturally diverse groups
  • attempting to include cultural information in care planning


Step 4

  • strong cultural self-awareness
  • expanded social network from which they derive cultural information about diverse groups
  • consistently incorporate that knowledge into their care planning

Step 5


  • highly self-aware
  • readily apply cultural knowledge to care planning
  • anticipate potential culturally related patient problems or staff issues

Step 6


  • attained a high level of self-awareness
  • a wide knowledge of other cultures
  • an ability to solve problems across cultural groups and to coach other staff

So which step are you on?