Intercultural Training and Assessment Tools

Stepping Stones intercultural communication activity

Begin by clicking here to learn how to select an assessment tool

Intercultural Training and Assessment Tools

The Global Competencies Inventory (GCI)

Created by The Kozai Group, the Global Competencies Inventory (GCI) is designed to assess competencies critical to interacting and working effectively with people who are from different cultures. The inventory measures 17 competencies in three categories of intercultural adaptability, including perception management, relationship management, and self-management. This instrument can be used as part of an assessment process for succession planning, selection, career planning, team building, coaching, or professional development. Trainers, consultants and coaches must attend a two-day workshop in order to be qualified to use the GCI. Scoring is done online by the Kozai Group, which prepares an Assessment and Development Guide for each respondent.

Available from:

The Intercultural Communication Institute
8835 SW Canyon Lane, Suite 238
Portland, OR 97225
Phone 503-297-4622
Fax: 503-297-4695

The Intercultural Effectiveness Scale (IES)

Created by the Kozai Group, the Intercultural Effectiveness Scale (IES) is an instrument used by profit and non-profit organizations, including companies, government agencies and educational institutions. It was developed specifically to evaluate the competencies critical to interacting effectively with people who are from different cultures. However, the competencies assessed are equally applicable to evaluating how well people work effectively with people who are different from them on a range of dimensions, including gender, generation, ethnic group, religious affiliation, and so forth. The IES focuses on nine competencies in three categories of intercultural effectiveness. These three dimensions are combined to generate an Overall Intercultural Effectiveness score in the individual feedback report.

The IES is available in online at a cost of $30 per copy corporate rate, $20 per copy nonprofit/government rate, or $14 academic rate. A Facilitator’s Guide and telephone feedback sessions facilitated by one of the Kozai Group partners are also available.

Available from:

The Intercultural Communication Institute
8835 SW Canyon Lane, Suite 238
Portland, OR 97225
Phone 503-297-4622
Fax: 503-297-4695

Description, Interpretation, Evaluation (DIE)

The D.I.E. exercise is perhaps the most widely used method to teach cognitive flexibility, frame of reference shifting and curiosity.

Alfred Korzibski, the general semanticist, wrote of similar concepts in his work on description, inference and judgement. In 1973, when Janet Bennett and Milton Bennett were in graduate school at the University of Minnesota, they were working in the intercultural workshop program, along with many others at the University. As ICW sessions progressed, Janet and Milton developed the Description, Interpretation, and Evaluation exercise. It further evolved at the ICW at Portland State University into the version currently in use. Since that time, they have distributed literally thousands of copies of the most recent rendition to other trainers and educators. Publications can either use the website citation ( or Intercultural Communication Workshop Facilitator’s Manual, Portland State University, Portland, OR, by Janet Bennett, Milton Bennett and Kathryn Stillings, 1977.

The current version involves using ambiguous objects, ambiguous pictures and as a final step, using the framework to comment on other’s cultural behavior.

Download the DIE

Cross Cultural Adaptability Inventory (CCAI)

Colleen Kelley & Judith Meyers

The CCAI is a self-assessment tool used extensively in training, consulting, and program evaluation that is designed to address a person’s ability to adapt to any culture. The CCAI is designed to respond to several needs or practical concerns that are expressed both by culturally diverse and cross-culturally oriented populations and by the trainers and professionals who work with them.

The CCAI is available from:

1 North Dearborn Street, Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: (800) 922-7343
Fax: (312) 242-4400

Note: Previously available from NCS Pearson.

Diagnosing Organizational Culture

Roger Harrison & Herb Stokes

This supports organizations in investigating their own cultural climates and determining how they can be structured for future success. The package contains overhead masters, discussion questions, and a workshop design to help participants:

  • Identify their organization’s cultural orientation.
  • Discover their own preferences for cultural orientations.
  • Understand the various cultural orientations and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • Learn how they can influence the culture in their organization.

Available from:

989 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94103-1741
Phone: (415) 433-1740
Fax: (415) 433-0499

Note: Pfeiffer is now part of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Discovering Diversity Profile

The Discovering Diversity Profile helps employees explore their level of comfort in the following Diversity Dimensions:

  • Knowledge. Both stereotypes and information are measured here.
  • Understanding. Awareness and empathy scales measure these abilities.
  • Acceptance. Tolerance and respect are key aspects measured in this dimension.
  • Behavior. Self-awareness and interpersonal skills measurements are used to provide answers.

201 Webster Building
3411 Silverside Road
Wilmington, DE 19810
Phone: (888) 658-6641 or (302) 477-9730
Fax: (302) 477-9744

Note: No longer available directly from Inscape Publishing.

Diversity Awareness Profile (DAP)

Karen Stinson

This 40-item instrument helps training participants become aware of their actions, both obvious and subtle, and how they affect people of different cultural, gender, or ethnic backgrounds. It motivates individuals to become more aware and then modify their behavior to be more empowering and respectful to all people. Two pages of Trainer’s Notes are included.

989 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94103-1741
Phone: (415) 433-1740
Fax: (415) 433-0499

Note: Pfeiffer is now part of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)

Mitch R. Hammer, IDI LLC.

The IDI is an online 50-item psychometric instrument based on the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS). The IDI is useful for personal development and self-awareness, audience analysis, examining topics salient to the training program, organizational assessment and development, and data-based intercultural training. The IDI generates a graphic profile of an individual’s or group’s predominant stage of development. A three-day qualifying seminar is required for persons who want to use the IDI. The IDI inventory is available in Bahasa Indonesia/Malay, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Russian, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Information is available from:

PO Box 1388
Ocean Pines, MD 21811
Phone: (410) 208-1120
Fax: (866) 708-8831

International Mobility Assessment (IMA)

The IMA is a self-assessment process for international assignment candidates and their families. It is intended to be used early in the process of international assignment decisions so candidates can decide for themselves if they are ready to take on the challenges of living and working in another country. There are two interactive “booklets” available online, one for families and one for singles. It helps candidates assess their current situation to determine if they are ready to take on the challenge of adapting successfully to a different culture, as well as assuring that their expectations are realistic about an international assignment, a new job, and especially a new environment.

Available from:

Tucker International LLC
The Lake Shore Building
5777 Central Avenue, Suite 230
Boulder, CO 8030
Phone: (303) 786-7753
Fax: (303) 786-7801

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The Intercultural Readiness Check (IRC)

Intercultural Business Improvement (IBI)

The Intercultural Readiness Check (IRC) is a valid and reliable questionnaire measuring four vital intercultural competences. More than 5,500 respondents have filled in the IRC so far, making its database one of the largest information sources on intercultural competence in the world. The IRC is available in English, German, French, Dutch, and Japanese, with norm scores for a wide range of countries and industries. Respondents can access the IRC online and receive practical and in-depth feedback, providing input for detailed action plans and follow-up learning.

Available from:

Intercultural Business Improvement
Eemnesserweg 11-01
1251 NA Laren
The Netherlands
Phone: +31 (0) 35 629 42 69
Fax: +31 (0) 35 629 49 19

Intercultural Sensitivity Inventory (ICSI)

D. P. S. Bhawuk & R. W. Brislin

The ICSI is a 46-item self-report instrument that measures the cultural constructs of individualism, collectivism, flexibility, and open-mindedness. The ICSI is useful for exploring cultural identity, through the examination of one’s cultural value orientations and flexibility in adapting to new cultures and persons.The ICSI can be self scored and no special training is required to use it.

It is available from:

Dr. Richard Brislin
Shidler College of Business
University of Hawaii at Manoa
2404 Malie Way
Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone: (808) 956-8720

Learning Styles Inventory (LSI)

David Kolb

The LSI is a 12-item self-report instrument intended to measure four types of learning that, taken together, constitute a person’s preferred learning style. The four primary styles of learning measured by the LSI are abstract conceptualization(AC), concrete experience (CE), reflective observation (RO), and active experimentation (AE). The LSI is based on experiential learning theory. It is one of the most commonly used instruments in intercultural training. The LSI is particularly useful in demonstrating forms of human diversity that are not exclusively linked to race, ethnicity, gender, or nationality. It is a non-threatening way to explore diversity. The LSI is a self-scored inventory that does not require certification to use. The inventory also includes interpretive materials.

The LSI is available from:

Hay Group Transforming Learning
116 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02116
Phone: (800) 729-8074 or (617) 927-5026
Fax: (617) 927-5008

Overseas Assignment Inventory (OAI) and Intercultural Candidate Evaluation (ICE)

Dr. Michael F. Tucker

One of the most thoroughly researched cross-cultural self-assessment instruments, the OAI measures 14 attributes associated with cross-cultural adaptability. Many consulting firms commonly use the OAI in corporate international training. The accompanying assessment tool, ICE, is available for supervisory levels. Trainers must attend a two-day workshop in order to be certified to use the OAI. Scoring is done by Tucker International, which prepares an Assessment and Development Guide for each respondent.

For more information contact:

Tucker International LLC
The Lake Shore Building
5777 Central Avenue, Suite 230
Boulder, CO 80301
Phone: (303) 786-7753
Fax: (303) 786-7801

*In addition to this list of selected intercultural training and assessment tools, an extensive list of these resources can be found in Michael Paige’s, “Instrumentation in Intercultural Training” in D. Landis, J.M. Bennett, and M.J. Bennett, eds. Handbook of Intercultural Training. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2004.

How to Select an Assessment Instrument    

Measurement is the systematic application of pre-established rules or standards for assigning numbers or scores to the attributes or traits of something of interest. Measurement supports intercultural work because it provides us with data, which allows us to do many sophisticated things not otherwise possible. Assessment instruments help us to:

  • Clarify needs
  • Structure program design
  • Measure program impact
  • Support selection decisions
  • Prepare cultural competence initiatives more precisely
  • Promote individual development

Establish your goals:

What do you want to use the assessment instrument for?

  • Needs assessment and analysis
  • Pre and post measurement of program impact
  • Individual development
  • Team development
  • Coaching
  • Selection
  • Re-entry
  • Career advising/academic advising

Consider questions about the quality of the assessment instrument:

1. Is it reliable—free from random error?
2. Is it valid—free from systematic, built in error?

a. Content validity—Does it measure what it says it will measure?
b. Predictive validity—Can it help you learn about things you are interested in?
c. Convergent validity—Is it consistent with other similar measures?
d. Face validity—Does it look to the participants as if it measures what it says it will measure?
e. Differential validity—Is it free from cultural bias?

3. Is it transparent? Can participants manipulate their scores through perceived social desirability?
4. How were items developed? Are they based on a well-recognized theory or model?

Consider questions about the logistics of using the instrument:

1. Do I need to be certified/qualified to use the instrument?
2. What knowledge, skills, and attitudes do I need to master to use the inventory effectively?
3. What is the amount of time for participants to take the inventory?
4. What is the cost for the inventory per person, and the cost of materials and training for certification?
5. Is it available in the appropriate language for my group?
6. Is the translation professional and accurate?
7. Is it available in the preferred language online as well as in paper and pencil formats?
8. Is the instrument self-scoring or are there additional fees for processing the results?
9. Are there 360 degree versions?
10. What is the track record of this inventory with my audience?
11. Are there research studies reporting results from using this instrument with my typical audience?
12. Are there publications suggesting approaches for using this instrument?
13. Does the inventory include sufficient information for participants to understand their profile, and to develop goals?
14. Is the inventory accompanied by support materials for the educator that include data on the inventory development, strategies for communicating inventory results, and activities for enhancing learning based on results?
15. To use the inventory ethically:

a. Must I conduct coaching interviews?
b. Is it best used to gather aggregate data?
c. Is it effective for pre and post testing?
d. Is it effective for individual feedback without interviews?

16. Is it possible to talk to other users about the effectiveness of the instrument?
17. Is information available on the going consulting fees for conducting assessments using this instrument?

Janet M. Bennet, Ph.D. and Michael Stevens, Ph.D. 2015