The Midwifery Council is the responsible authority established under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act. Its role is to regulate midwives which means that it must ensure that midwives meet and maintain high standards of education, conduct and performance so that they can provide high quality culturally safe healthcare throughout their careers.
The Council's mission is to protect the health and safety of women and babies experiencing midwifery care in Aotearoa, New Zealand, through an effective and efficient midwifery regulatory framework.
What we do
The functions of the Council are prescribed in the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (2003).
Our main role is to:
- Set qualifications needed to be come a midwife and to accredit pre-registration programmes of education
- Set standards for clinical competence, cultural competence and conduct of midwives which includes competencies that will enable effective interaction with Maori
Recertify midwives every year
Review and ensure the competence and fitness of midwives
Te Tatau o te Whare Kahu
The Council began the process of adopting a Maori name during 2004 but it was not until September 2006 that the consultative process was concluded with the adoption of the metaphorical name Te Tatau o te Whare Kahu.
In Maori ‘Te Tatau’ refers to the gateway to a marae. During a powhiri, certain protocols and rituals take place and it is only on completion of these, that newcomers are able to pass through the gateway onto the marae. This symbolizes the Council's responsibility for registration of midwives, providing permission for them to practise.
Kahu refers to ‘the membrane enveloping the unborn baby’. Whare kahu emphasises the protective nature of Council’s role to protect the public by ensuring midwives are competent to practise.
Whare kahu also refers to a place for lying-in for high-born women. This application elevates the significance of childbirth for society including women, their whānau and children and midwives.
Responsible Authorities (RA), such as Te Tatau o te Whare Kahu | Midwifery Council, are required to undertake periodic performance reviews as mandated under section 122A of the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (HPCAA) 2003. They involve an independent, systematic, objective, and documented review of an RA’s performance and the extent to which it meets the prescribed performance standards for evaluative and formative purposes (see The Ministry of Health’s General terms of reference for performance reviews of responsible authorities).
Performance reviews are conducted under the Ministry’s HSII-QAS-HealthCERT framework. Reviewers are appointed by the Ministry of Health based on their expertise and experience in conducting reviews, knowledge and awareness of the regulation of health practitioners in New Zealand, cost-effectiveness, and capacity to manage the work required. The Ministry of Health appointed BSI who completed the performance review of the Midwifery Council in 2021. The Council is pleased to report all the core performance standards have been achieved. We invite you to read a copy of the Council’s report HERE.