Intercultural Awareness Training

The Intercultural Awareness eLearning programme supports staff to be aware and respectful of ethnic, cultural and religious diversity of people who use our services.

Social stereotypes about certain groups of people that we form unconsciously have the potential to harm the people who use our services.  The main aim of this programme is to reduce the potential harm that unconscious bias may cause.

In Ireland we have a diverse group of migrants. This group can include

  • foreign students,
  • protection applicants (formerly known as asylum seekers)
  • refugees, and
  • some are members of the Roma community

Migrants come from a diverse array of different countries and different social, economic, and education backgrounds.Some find it harder to integrate and can suffer poor healthcare outcomes as a result.

Diversity has enriched Irish society. But for the people who use our services it has not been without it’s challenges. Migrants can often face many barriers accessing and navigating unfamiliar public services. We must ensure that we try and remove some of those barriers migrants face.

Speaking about the programme, Joe Doyle, HSE National Social Inclusion Lead said

“While many service users of differing ethnic and cultural backgrounds navigate the health system without difficulty, for some members of these groups, accessing and using the health system can be a frustrating and bewildering exercise. Embedding cultural competence among service providers demands a sustained focus on knowledge, skills, awareness and behaviour across all levels of the health system, including administrative, managerial and operational levels.”

The HSE Second National Intercultural Health Strategy (NIHS) 2018-2023, contains a specific goal to:

‘ensure the provision of high-quality, culturally responsive services to service users from diverse ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds’

The aim of this goal is to provide intercultural awareness training to all relevant staff, taking into account the needs of staff who work with a diverse population. The Intercultural Awareness ELearning programme addresses this goal.

The programme is available on HSEland. It contains three modules:

  1. Inclusive Practices and Intercultural Awareness
  2. Working with Others
  3. Intercultural Awareness and Practice in Health and Social Care: Refugees, Protection Applicants and Trauma.

You can work through the modules at your own speed. The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) have approved the programme.

If you have questions about this article or would like more information about the training modules please contact