Self-AssessmentsGuiding Principles of Self-Assessment

The NCCC uses a set of values and principles to guide all of the self-assessment activities including the development of knowledge and products, dissemination, and the provision of technical assistance and consultation.

The purpose of self-assessment is to identify and promote growth among individuals and within organizations that enhances their ability to deliver culturally and linguistically competent services and supports. Self-assessment emphasizes the identification of strengths, as well as areas of growth, at all levels of an organization. The process also allows organizations to identify and acknowledge the internal strengths and assets of personnel that in many instances are inadvertently overlooked.

Self-assessment is most productive when conducted in an environment that: (1) offers participants a forum to give honest statements of their level of awareness, knowledge and skills related to cultural and linguistic competence; and (2) provides an opportunity for participants to share their individual perspectives in a candid manner; and (3) assures information provided will be used to effect meaningful change within the organization. The NCCC embraces the concept that cultural competence is developmental and occurs along a continuum (Cross et. al.) It matters not where an individual or organization starts, as long as there is continued progression towards the positive end of the continuum.

Principles of self-determination and cultural competence assure that consumers are integrally involved in processes to plan, deliver, and evaluate services they receive. These principles extend beyond the individual to the community as a whole. Self-assessment must solicit and value the experiences and perspectives of consumers and families who receive services. Similarly, opinions should be sought from key stakeholders and constituency groups within the broad integrated service delivery system. An inclusive self-assessment process can forge alliances and partnerships that have long-lasting benefit for the organization and the larger community.

The intent of the self-assessment process is neither to render a score or rating nor to label an individual or an organization. Rather, it is intended to provide a snapshot as to where an individual or organization is at a particular point in time. Results should be used to strategically plan long- and short- term objectives to enhance the organization s capacity to deliver culturally and linguistically competent services at all levels within the organization, including: policy makers, administrators, providers, subcontractors and consumers at both the state and local level. The NCCC s experiences with self-assessment have demonstrated that comparisons between professionals and among organizations are of little benefit. Greater benefit is derived from individual and organizational self-comparison over extended periods of time to ascertain the extent to which growth has occurred.

Self-assessment results should be shared with participants and key stakeholders in a manner that meets their unique needs. The NCCC has employed an array of dissemination strategies that are tailored to the specific interests of the participating organization. This involves identification of the audiences and the presentation of the data in formats that are most useful and accessible. Additionally, this recognizes that the need for information will vary for policy makers, administrators, service providers, consumers and other stakeholders.