A Genetic Counseling Cultural Competence Toolkit

Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS)

National Standards on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS)

The CLAS standards provide specific guidelines to health care organizations on making their practices more culturally and linguistically accessible. All organizations should work with the communities they serve to ensure that the CLAS standards are met. There are 14 standards that are organized into themes: culturally competent care, language access services, and organizational supports for cultural competence. Within these standards, some are mandated by law, others are recommended and others are suggested for voluntary adaptation.

Mandatory standards are summarized as follows: interpreters must be provided at no cost to all patients with LEP at all points of contact (Standard 4), patients must be notified in their preferred language both verbally and via written notices of their right to an interpreter (standard 5), the interpreters provided must be competent and cannot be friends or family (standard 6), and organizations must have signs and written material in ALL the languages of the populations most served (section 7). The recommended standards relate to internal organization needed to provide culturally competent care and the voluntary standard relates to publicly posting information on compliance with CLAS.

The full standards of CLAS can be found at: OMH National Standards

The Cultural Competency section of the Office of Minority Health website OMH - Cultural Competency Section provides links to tools and resources for increasing cultural competency.

CLAS Reports