NZ graduates' application guidelines

General Information.

These guidelines are concerned only with your application to sit the National Midwifery Examination and to be entered into the Register of Midwives within the Midwifery Scope of Practice.  Registration does not in itself confer any authority to practise as a midwife.  For this, you must hold a current Practising Certificate.  Once you are registered, you will be able to apply for an Annual Practising Certificate online.  

Create an account

Before you can apply to sit the national Midwifery Exam and to be registered as a midwife you must create an account at our internet site.  Once this is done the link to apply online will be obvious but take care to select the correct application type - New Zealand.

National Midwifery Examination

You must have completed the requirements of your undergraduate programme prior to sitting the exam.  Your Head of School must supply confirmation of this direct to the Midwifery Council.  Occasionally this information is not available until close to the examination date but unless such confirmation is received, you will not be allowed to sit the examination.  In some circumstances, students who have only to facilitate a small number of births to complete their programme may be allowed to sit the examination. If you fall into this category, you will not be registered until the necessary births have been facilitated and the degree programme completed.

Applications open 2-3 months prior to exam, and close 2-3 weeks prior to exam.

You must complete an online application form and then send all documentation to the Council.  We will send an examination admission slip and Notes for Candidates to you one to two weeks before the examination.  Please note that the admission slip is merely an administrative device.  It is not evidence that all requirements have been met and does not indicate permission to sit the examination.  You must keep the Council informed of your current contact details in case further information is needed before the exam.

Success in the National Midwifery Examination does not by itself guarantee registration.

Fitness for registration

The Council is legally required to refuse to register a person as a midwife unless it is satisfied in a number of areas set out in section 16 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (HPCAA) 2003. These are:-

  1. Effective communication
  2. Communication and comprehension of English
  3. Criminal or civil convictions
  4. Adverse mental or physical conditions
  5. Existing or pending disciplinary proceedings
  6. Under investigation in respect of disciplinary matters
  7. Professional disciplinary orders
  8. Danger to the health or safety of the public

Understanding the Application Form


This is your cultural, racial, and perhaps religious grouping e.g. Maori, New Zealand European/Pakeha, Australian, Chinese, Assyrian. These are the groups used by the Department of Statistics.  We are not asking for your nationality.

Contact details

You are legally required to supply your contact details and these must be kept up-to-date throughout the registration process - and beyond.  You must maintain your current contact details yourself online.

Declaration of mental and physical health

The Council is required to satisfy itself that you do not suffer from any mental or physical condition that would prevent you from performing the functions of a midwife and will ask you to disclose any physical or mental health issues that could affect your ability to practise as a midwife.  A medical certificate is required.

If in doubt, you should put your circumstance before the Council for its consideration but failure to disclose any health issues is in itself grounds to question your honesty and fitness to practise.  Any health issues will not necessarily prevent your being registered. You may be asked to meet the Council before your application is decided.  You will not be refused registration without being given the opportunity to discuss any issues and convince the Council of your fitness for registration.

If you have a health condition, please complete this Health Status Disclosure Statement Form and send with your application.

Declaration of convictions

The Council will ask you to disclose any convictions and to consent to Police vetting when you apply to sit the National Midwifery Examination and to be registered as a midwife.  Any convictions you hold will not necessarily prevent you from being registered as a midwife. Each case will be considered on its merits taking into account factors such as the nature of the offence and the circumstance surrounding it, the penalty imposed, the time passed, and any discernible pattern of offending.  Registration will not be refused without discussing this with you first.

If you have had a conviction, please complete this Reflective Statement and send with your application.

Supporting documentation

All supporting documentation should be supplied to the Council before the closing date  -  the applications open 2-3 months prior to exam, and close 2-3 weeks prior to exam. Identity documents must be sent by postal mail. Other documents may be either emailed as a pdf or sent by post.

1.  Applications for extra time or for special assessment conditions for the examination

You can apply for extra time to complete the exam or for special assessment conditions.  Your application must be supported by your Head of School.  Please provide full details in a letter as to what you are seeking. A supporting letter from your Head of School is also required.  It should be noted however that extra time or special assessment conditions are rarely granted as midwives in all practice settings are required to be able to read, write, think and act under pressure similar to that which may be experienced by students sitting the National Midwifery Examination.

2.  Identity Documents - Evidence of Change of Name

The Council is required to confirm your identity with certainty.  

From July 2018 the Council will now require two Identity documents, at least one must have a photograph. Documents accepted as Evidence of Identity (EOI) are shown on this list click here.

All documents must be certified. Please do not send originals. Please include this Certification Checklist with the document.

If your current name is not the same as on the identity documents supplied then in this situation, you must also attach certified evidence of your legal change of name, e.g. a certified copy of your marriage certificate.

Certification of the copy can only be done by a solicitor, a Notary Public, or a Justice of the Peace.  Certification by any other person will not be accepted.

The certifier must confirm that the copy is a true copy of the original, must sign, and must clearly print their name, the capacity under which they are signing, and their contact details.

3.  Character references

Two references are required

  • One must be completed by a registered midwife who has worked with you
  • The second must be completed by another person of good standing in the community who has known you for at least two years

A person of good standing can be a member of the clergy, a member of a profession such as a teacher, another health professional, member of the police force, a lawyer, a senior manager of a company or government department, or similar.

Applicants will need to download both of the Certificate of Good Character forms from the online application process and send them to their nominated referees for completion. Please note that from July 2019, applicants completing the online application process will be asked to provide the Council with the names and contact details, including work email addresses, of the referees. The Council will email the referees directly sending them the forms (or a link to the form).

The forms must be sent directly (either by email as a pdf or by post) to the Council by the referees.  Character references will not be accepted from fellow students, persons living with you, midwifery lecturers, or close relatives.

4.  Medical Certificate

Download the required form from the online application process or separately from the NZ Graduate Registration page. The form must be completed by your doctor and be sent directly (either by email as a pdf or by post) to the Midwifery Council.

5. Police Check

Police vetting is standard procedure for persons responsible for the care of others, particularly those in vulnerable circumstance. This check will include:

  1. All criminal conviction information
  2. A family violence report may be released
  3. Information may also be released about:  
    - behaviours of a violent or sexual nature that may not have resulted in a conviction 
    - any interaction, including as a victim, with Police, whether it resulted in a criminal conviction or not

The Council will consider factors such as the nature of the offence and the circumstance surrounding it, the penalty imposed, the time passed, and any discernible pattern of offending. 

You must complete this Request and Consent form for the New Zealand Police vet and email it to the Council. We are required to ensure that all information obtained by this process must be held securely and only be seen by those Council members and staff directly involved in this process.

If you have lived overseas for a period of more than one year after your 18th birthday you must obtain a Police check from those countries as well. You must request this yourself and it must be sent direct to the Council.  The New Zealand Immigration Service details the procedure to obtain a check in each country that will be acceptable to the Council.  Please do not obtain a Police check of a type other than specified there.  The check must not be any older than six months at the time of your application.

If you were born overseas but moved to New Zealand before your 18th birthday, you should complete this Declaration of Residence instead of the overseas Police check. As this is a statutory declaration it must be sent by post to the Council.

Registrations with Other Health Practitioner Authorities

If you are registered with any other health regulatory authorities, you are required to provide a Certificate of Good Standing from those authorities with your application which must be sent direct to the Council.  Authorities have standard procedures for the supply of this information.

If you are registered with the Nursing Council of New Zealand, you need only tick the box. The Midwifery and Nursing Councils have an agreement to exchange this information.

English language proficiency requirement

The ability to communicate in and comprehend the English language is a specific requirement for registration under the HPCAA.  If English is not your first spoken language, you will be asked to demonstrate a reasonable level of proficiency before you can be registered by sitting an English language proficiency test. 

Note: "First spoken language" means the language you spoke first. It does not mean your current primary language or the language you now speak the most.

Before you were entered into your school of midwifery you should have been required to complete an English language assessment. For registration purposes you are required to submit a copy of this assessment as part of your documentation.  Applicants unable to provide documentation of the pre-entry assessment result will be required to complete an assessment and meet the required standards. The two tests that can be accepted by Council are IELTS academic module or OET. 

The required level for the IELTS test is an overall score of 7.0. This shall include a minimum score of 6.5 in both writing and reading, and a minimum of 7.0 in both speaking and listening. Applicants may attempt a number of sittings not more than 12 months apart, however any qualifying scores counting toward entry must be obtained in the same test. The OET test must provide evidence of a pass being either A or B in each section and can be achieved over a number of sittings not more than 12 months apart, however any qualifying scores counting towards entry must be obtained in the same test.

Applicants can seek an exemption from sitting an English language assessment, but must apply before they start their midwifery degree. No exemptions for English language proficiency will be granted to students who have already enrolled in an undergraduate midwifery education programme.

Any other English proficiency exemption will only be considered under exceptional circumstances. Such exemption applications will be considered on a case by case basis and must include evidence that the applicant reaches the required standard of proficiency rather than being an application to waive the standard.


The information collected by the Council about you is governed by the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act and the Privacy Act.  It can only be used for the purposes for which it is collected.  You can ask to inspect this information at any time and correct it if necessary.

The Council will provide some of the personal information it collects to the Health Practitioner Index (HPI).  The HPI is a national index of health practitioners and is administered by the Ministry of Health and its purpose is to uniquely identify health practitioners and to hold that information in a central database.  It allows electronic data sharing, for example for claiming subsidised healthcare payments, and access to patient health information. 

Some personal information is also given to a division of the Ministry of Health who validate payment claims associated with maternity services.

Registration and Practising Certificates

Registration is for life.  Before you can work as a midwife, you must obtain a practising certificate.  This is a separate process from your registration.  Practising certificates are renewable annually and the year runs from 1 April to 31 March.  Information for applying online will be supplied with your confirmation of registration.  Practising without a practising certificate is illegal.

A discounted annual practising certificate fee is available for new graduates when you apply for your first full year practising certificate following the year of registration.  These fees depend on when in the year you register and you will be advised at that time.  The maximum is $200 plus the disciplinary levy of $50. You will need to plan your finances so as to be able to cover these necessary expenses.

All new graduate midwives must complete the New Zealand Midwifery First Year of Practice Programme.  This programme is administered by the New Zealand College of Midwives under contract to the government.  All enquiries should be directed to the College.  The Council will require evidence of enrolment in the programme and its successful completion.

Application and Fees

A combined application is required to sit the National Midwifery Exam and to be registered as a midwife. 

The fees are $200 to sit the examination and $300 to be registered and must be paid with the application. There is no pay later option unless the school will be paying one or both of the fees.  Some schools do not pay either fee. If you think someone else will be paying either or both fees you should confirm this with absolute certainty before starting your application. This is between you and the other party. If no payment is received your application will be declined.

These are gazetted fees and are non-refundable.

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Create an account

Before you can apply to sit the national Midwifery Exam and to be registered as a midwife you must create an account at our internet site.  Once this is done the link to apply online will be obvious but take care to select the correct application type - New Zealand.

National Midwifery Examination

You must have completed the requirements of your undergraduate programme prior to si...

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