Module 301-1

Pre-requisites for CALD practice


The module offers some background information on cultural concepts and constructs integral to interacting with CALD clients and their families which may impact or underlie clinical presentations. Although some of these constructs will be familiar to you, they nuance clinical practice in indistinct ways; we hope you will re-visit them with fresh eyes and enjoy the opportunity to deepen your therapeutic engagements with your CALD clients.

Depending on your level of understanding of the principles of cultural competency, you may or may not need to take this module. We have created a short quiz for you to self assess if you need to take this module. We strongly recommend answering the short quiz before enrolling. 

Take the pre-assessment quiz for 301-1

Key topics covered in this module

The following key topics are covered:

  • Cultural competence in New Zealand
  • Cultural competence in mental health
  • Cultural awareness
    • Cultural constructs
    • Cultural dimensions
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Cultural knowledge
    • Acculturation
    • Intergenerational issues
    • Sensitive issues
  • Skills development
    • Checklist for CALD engagement
    • Case vignette

Learning outcomes of this module

If you complete all the topics in this module, you should be able to:

  • understand the importance of a culturally oriented approach and the need for culturally competent practice in mental health
  • demonstrate your understanding of the dimensions of culture and how these dimension impact interactions with clients
  • identify your own cultural values
  • understand some of the impact of cultural insensitivity in practice
  • assess your own level of ethnocentrism
  • recognise what phase of acculturation your client is in and whether there are acculturative stress factors
  • identify whether intergenerational issues are affecting your client
  • recognise ‘sensitive’ issues for some cultures and implement suggested approaches in your practice
  • gain some tips on how to engage with CALD clients.

About the other modules in this programme

This training programme includes 3 other modules 

  • 301-2 Assessment and Diagnosis
    • Cultural variations
      • CALD engagement
      • Expression of distress
      • Explanatory models
    • Assessment
      • Screening
      • MSE
      • Suicide risk
    • Diagnostic issues
      • Risk of misdiagnosis
      • Personality disorders
      • Cultural formulation
      • CALD Assessment Tool
      • Developing a formulation
  • 301-3 Treating cross-culturally
    • Modalities for intervention
    • Ethnopsychopharmacology
    • Ethnocultural transference
    • Collaboration in intervention
    • An integrative treatment plan
    • Seeking collegial input
  • 301-4 Working with interpreters in mental health
    • About interpreters
    • Language assessment
    • Pre-briefing interpreters
    • Structuring a session
    • Debriefing interpreters
    • Addressing common interpreting issues

Overall aim of the full training programme

The training programme is designed to:

  • facilitate the acquisition of knowledge, the development of awareness and sensitivity to cultural factors, and provide opportunities to apply these as skills in practice.
  • fill the gap between theory and practice: there is a proliferation of papers and discussion on cultural competence in the literature and internet, but very little to guide the application of cultural competence learning in a practical way.

Target audience

This programme is recommended for clinicians working with CALD clients in the field of psychiatry and psychology in the New Zealand health system.


E-Learning online self-paced learning = 2.5 hours.


Pre-requisites for CALD practice

Pre-requisites for CALD practice

Online course

This module is available as a self guided 2.5 hour online course.


This module provides a good introduction of general concepts and relevant to practice.

Broad scope, good Introduction of general concepts relevant and the quiz revision provided a consolidation of information.


The variety of work (mix of reading, viewing and interactive exercises) kept me engaged.

This was an easy course in the sense that it was a pleasure to participate in. The variety of work, with the mix of reading, viewing, and interactive exercises, kept me engaged. It is well-written, thoughtful, and I feel I have gained skills and knowledge which will improve and benefit my practice as a mental health nurse on the Crisis team. I like the encouragement to acknowledge one’s own biases – I think this is essential in terms of empathy (for one’s self as well) and accuracy.

Mental health nurse

This module is well-structured, relevant, easy to apply knowledge in practice.

It’s well-structured and presented. Relevant and applicable. Great to see ‘health’-related examples which makes it easier to apply the knowledge to our setting


Excellent training

I think the training is excellent and totally fine for psychologists.

Clinical psychologist