Midwives' competence is measured against the Competencies for Entry to the Register. Applicants for registration as a midwife have to hold qualifications as required by the Midwifery Council, demonstrate that they are competent to practise within the Midwifery Scope of Practice and provide certain information to satisfy the Council that they are fit for registration. See these requirements for midwives.
Applicants for a practising certificates also have to provide information to satisfy the Midwifery Council that they continue to be fit and competent to practise. A midwife's Scope of Practice will be endorsed on her or his practising certificate. (At present there is only one Midwifery Scope.) You can ask to see this document. See these requirements for midwives.
The Council has policy about ongoing professional development to ensure that once registered, midwives continue their professional education and maintain their competence to practise. Midwives, as with all health practitioners, need to be willing to commit to continuing education as part of being a registered health practitioner. The Midwifery Council's Recertification Policy sets out the programme in which registered midwives must engage, to demonstrate that they are competent to practise within the Midwifery Scope of Practice.
You can check the status of your chosen midwife by searching the public Register elsewhere on this site.
The Council is able to undertake a review of a midwife's practise when it becomes aware of possible competence issues. Examples of situations which may lead to a review are:
- Where there is a series of errors.
- Where there are flaws in a midwife’s clinical judgment, decision making or processes.
- Where there are obvious gaps in a midwife’s knowledge
The Competencies for Entry to the Register of Midwives are the entry-level criteria to measure competence. In addition, the Code of Ethics and Guidelines in the “Midwives Handbook for Practice” published by The New Zealand College of Midwives 2008 edition (“NZCOM”) and the “Consensus Statements” published by NZCOM represent best practice. Midwives are also required to be aware of and comply with the requirements of:
- Maternity Services Notice pursuant to Section 88 of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000
- Medicines Act 1981
- Medicines Regulations 1984
- Misuse of Drugs Act 1975
- Misuse of Drugs Regulations 1977
- Privacy Act 1993
- Health Information Privacy Code 1994
- Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights 1996
- all other relevant legislation