Learning and Development: At a Glance

Learning and Development: At a Glance


On Creating a Culture of Continuous Learning

Achieving cultural and linguistic competency (CLC) is a developmental process, obtained through ongoing self-assessment, reflection, and continuous education. Therefore, organizations must provide formal and informal CLC learning opportunities consistently over time. Learning  opportunities do not always have to be structured, time-consuming events. Providing the space for informal conversations and learning will help reinforce skills and concepts obtained through formal trainings.

Informal CLC Learning Activities:

      ✓ Diversity Exercises incorporated into regular staff meetings
      ✓  Lunch & Learns
      ✓ Community Collaborations

Formal CLC Learning Activities:

      ✓  Structured Trainings (external providers or trained trainers within the organization)
      ✓ Mandatory CLAS Training
      ✓ Employee Development Plans and/or Mentoring

What is most important is that any learning opportunity is conducted in a safe and respectful space. To create a culture of continuous learning, individuals must not fear repercussions or judgment for their questions or ignorance about a topic. Creating ground rules at the start of any discussion will be critical for defining boundaries, communicating expectations, and fostering open participation.

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Obtaining Training

What training do I need? 

Regularly collecting and assessing data trends of your community and the clients served by your organization will help identify training needs or topics. For example, is your community experiencing an increase in the Latino population? Is the data suggesting that a significant portion of your client population has not been following through on appointments?

  • Data collection and analysis is covered in detail in the Messaging Section of this toolkit—but it is important to keep in mind that you want to pay attention both to client demographics AND client outcomes. Poor client outcomes may indicate a deficiency in the program design or service delivery. Identifying these deficiencies will help you determine the most needed topics for trainings.
  • Develop a process for employees to submit requests or suggestions for training topics. These suggestions may be filled through formal training opportunities, or any of the informal strategies identified above. Developing “CLC Champions”

How do I know if this training will meet my needs?

You cannot know if a training is appropriate for your needs until you identify what your needs are!  The Learning Objectives tool has been provided in this section to help organizations better articulate their training goals. These are learning objectives for general CLC skill development; you may want to identify special population trainings based on the data trends you have identified for your program.


  •  It is recommended that all employees of an organization receive some form of baseline CLC  training. This type of training, which typically overviews basic concepts, provides the  foundation for future formal and informal CLC learning.
  • Additional, “intermediate” CLC trainings should be provided as a part of professional  development opportunities.
  • Collaborating with local consumer advocacy groups is an excellent strategy for obtaining trainings focused on special populations. Some suggestions for groups have been provided in  the Learn More portion of this section, but you may want to brainstorm with your work unit  about organizations with whom you already have collaborations. These organizations may be  able to provide formal or informal learning opportunities surrounding a specific topic where  they have expertise and experience.


On Developing “CLC Champions”

A CLC Champion is a person who is passionate about integrating CLC concepts into the workplace  and direct service programs, and is willing to spearhead some of these efforts. CLC Champions may fill multiple roles:

        ✓ Collecting training needs and requests and identifying resources to meet those needs
        ✓ Developing internal training capacity by participating in Train-the-Trainer sessions
        ✓ Serving on the MCH CLC Council to direct CLC activities and CLC Strategic Plan implementation
        ✓ Organizing informal training opportunities, such as Lunch & Learns