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The INCA project: Intercultural Competence Assessment

In the global economy, all sectors of UK industry and service provision are now required to operate in multicultural environments, whether in dealing with clients or within their own workforces. Multinational working is tending to mean the establishment of collaborative partnerships (as opposed to straightforward outsourcing) for the delivery of goods and services. UK employees are increasingly required to operate in a way which demonstrates sensitivity and competence in dealing with others from different cultural backgrounds.

Intercultural competence enables you to interact both effectively and in a way that is acceptable to others when you are working in a group whose members have different cultural backgrounds. The group may consist of two or more people including yourself. ‘Cultural’ may denote all manner of features, including the values and beliefs you have grown up with, your national, regional and local customs and, in particular, attitudes and practices that affect the way you work.

The INCA project, funded by Leonardo da Vinci II, has developed a framework, a suite of assessment tools, including INCA on-line, and a portfolio for the assessment of intercultural competence linked to language and subject knowledge competence.

The INCA Products were developed and tested first in the engineering sector, where the need for interculturally competent managers for the future is most acute. The project partners and contributors were experts in intercultural learning theory, diagnostic testing, "culture shock", etc from Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany and the UK.

Click here to find out more about the background to the project.

The INCA project has developed two manuals:

The Assessor Manual

This provides guidelines for assessors who will be assessing intercultural competence against the framework produced by the INCA project. It gives information on the project background and objectives, the theoretical framework on which INCA is based and lists the various exercises. Observation, evaluation and feedback principles are also explained.

The Assessee Manual

This manual provides information on the intercultural assessment procedure developed by the INCA project. It describes the project itself, explains how intercultural competences are defined and presents the different types of exercises.