Internationally qualified midwives' application guidelines
Internationally qualified midwives may be able to apply for registration in New Zealand.
Please carefully read the application guidelines below before proceeding and contact the Midwifery Council if these are not clear. Any deviation from the guidelines may result in delays or rejection of your application. You should also read the General information for internationally qualified midwives under the link at the right of the screen. It would be a good idea to read the notes on the overseas competence programme to get an idea of what will be required of you if your application to be registered is successful.
The Council must have full and current contact details. You are legally required to keep these up-to-date throughout the registration process and beyond. The Council will post matters to do with your application to the address that you provide.
KEY DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY THE COUNCIL:
- Identity documents
- Certification Checklist
- Medical Certificate
- Certificate of Good Character – Midwife
- Certificate of Good Character – Person of Good Standing
- Self Assessments
1. Application and Fees
The application fee must be paid at the time of the application. Payment must be in New Zealand dollars. Please see the Gazetted fee.
The fee is not refundable.
If you wish to pay by credit card payment can be made online as part of your application for registration. The payment gateway used bythe Council uses a secure server. If you wish to pay by credit card after you have submitted the application, you can call the Council with your credit card details. The Council does not recommend you supply credit card details by email.
If you wish to pay by direct credit/international money transfer the Council's banking details are:
- Westpac Bank
PO Box 1298
Ph 0800 400 600
Account 030502 0399402 00
Account name: Midwifery Council of NZ
Swift Code : WPACNZ2W
You must provide your surname and the application Web ID as references.
2. Create an Account
Applications for registration are made online. Before you can apply to be registered as a midwife in New Zealand 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 type of application – International.
Do not use this application type or read these guidelines if you are currently registered as a midwife in Australia. Read the TTMRA application guidelines.
3. Fitness for registration
The Health Practitioner Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCAA) emphasises fitness for practice in relation to:
- Effective communication
- Fluency and comprehension of English
- Criminal or civil convictions
- Adverse mental or physical conditions
- Existing or pending disciplinary proceedings
- Being under investigation in respect of disciplinary matters
- Being subject to professional disciplinary orders
- Constituting a danger to the health or safety of the public
3.1. Prescribed qualification and Post-registration experience
3.1.1. Assessment of your Midwifery Education programme
The Council will assess your midwifery qualification to ensure that it is the same level as those of a New Zealand graduate. This means that your midwifery qualification must be comparable to a New Zealand Bachelor’s degree which is at level 7 of the New Zealand qualifications framework or higher. Key attributes of a degree include :
- demonstrated intellectual independence, critical thinking, analytical rigour and professionalism
- engage in self-directed learning
- demonstrate knowledge and skills related to the principles, concepts, chief research methods and problem-solving techniques of a recognised major subject which is midwifery in this instance
For further information about a Bachelor’s degree please refer to the NZQA website.
In some situations the Council may request that your qualification is assessed by NZQA to ascertain the academic level. There are additional charges for an assessment of your qualification and these charges are paid directly to NZQA by the applicant.
Evidence of your qualification content
You must ask the education provider where you completed your midwifery qualification to send a full transcript of your programme directly to the Midwifery Council. The Council will accept electronic qualifications if we can access them directly through the education provider.
A transcript must state the name of the programme completed, the commencement date, the completion date, each of the courses/units/modules completed, the theory and practical hours, and a detailed breakdown of the clinical practice that you completed during your programme.
This must include the following:
- follow throughs or continuity of care experiences,
- number of women cared for in labour where you facilitated the births,
- labour care where you did not facilitate the birth,
- number of women cared for with complications,
- number of antenatal, postnatal and neonatal assessments completed.
You may also need to provide additional information to enable the Council to evaluate your programme content.
Sometimes we require your midwifery education curriculum (syllabus) and/or course descriptors. We will ask you for these if needed and they can be emailed directly to the Council from the provider. We must also assure ourselves that your programme of education has undergone a recognised accreditation process within your country of registration. If we are required to review the syllabus there are additional charges for this assessment.
3.1.2. Assessment of your post Registration practice and continuing education
You must supply a portfolio of your post-registration midwifery practice experiences, post-registration education, and you must complete the competence self-assessment form.
Your midwifery clinical practice must be current and you must include evidence of a minimum of two years' post registration midwifery practice which must include antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care, within the immediate five years preceding your application.
To enable us to assess this requirement you must provide the following:
a) Post-registration midwifery practice experiences
- A full copy of your CV, a time line of your employment.
- Your employment history must state the position you held and include a detailed description of your midwifery practice
b) Post-registration education
- You must provide evidence of continuing midwifery education that you have undertaken in the last three years
- This should also include reflections on your continuing education and must demonstrate how this education has been integrated into your practice.
c) Completed self-assessment
- You must also complete a self-assessment against the Competencies for Entry to the Register of Midwives.
The Council is required to confirm your identity with certainty and you will be registered under your full legal name.
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, or on any certificate of good standing that you supply (see below) 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.
3.3. Self 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 in an adequate manner. Any mental or physical condition you have will not necessarily prevent you from being registered as a midwife. All circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Registration will not be refused without discussing this with you.
You should arrange for an examination by your medical practitioner for this purpose. The form must be completed by your medical practitioner and must be sent direct to the Midwifery Council by the practitioner.
3.4. Character References
Two character references are required. One must be completed by a registered midwife who has worked with you and is familiar with your midwifery practice. The second must be completed by another person of good standing in the community who has known you for at least two years. Both forms must be sent directly to the Council by the referees. These can be sent as a pdf by email.
Character references will not be accepted from persons living with you or from relatives. A person of good standing in the community is a person in a position of responsibility and is most likely professionally qualified. Some examples are a lawyer, engineer, doctor, school teacher, police officer, minister of religion.
3.5. Self Declaration of Convictions
A conviction 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 circumstances surrounding it, the penalty imposed, the time passed since the conviction, and any discernible pattern of offending. Registration will not be refused without discussing this with you first.
3.6. Police Certificate
Police vetting is a standard requirement in New Zealand for persons responsible for the care of others, particularly those in vulnerable circumstances. The Police report(s) in support of your application must be given by the National Police Authority for the country, not a local or state office. You must provide a current report from your country of residence and from every country where you have resided for a period of 12 months or more if you are 18 years or over. The Council does not waive this requirement.
Please follow this link to New Zealand Immigration internet site which explains the process for obtaining a Police certificate that will also be acceptable to Council. Please ensure you obtain a Police certificate as specified on the immigration website. If you do not follow this process the Council may not accept your evidence of police vetting.
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.
If you have resided in New Zealand for 12 months or more please complete a Police Vetting Service Request and Consent Form for the New Zealand Police and return it to the Council (do not send it to the Police) with your application.
3.7. Registrations with Other Regulatory Authorities
Applicants are required to disclose all previous and current registrations with other professional regulators in New Zealand or another country. This is to ensure the applicant meets the requirement of fitness to practice.
You are required to provide verification of registration and of current good standing from the national or state regulatory authority where you are currently registered as a midwife and from each other health practitioner authority where you have been registered in the past. Verification of good standing requires a statement from the registration authority to the Council to the effect that you are currently registered with them, are in good standing with them, have no restrictions on your practice, are not subject to any disciplinary or competence proceedings, and are not under investigation in relation to any discipline or competence matter. The fact that you can show that you were on a register at some past date, or still are on a register (e.g. your name in an online register, copy of a practising certificate, confirmation of placement in a register from the registering authority) does not satisfy this requirement.
This verification must come from the national regulatory authority for midwives in your country (in some cases this may be a State regulatory authority). It cannot come from a local authority or from any organisation involved with your employment. It must be sent direct to the Council from the overseas regulatory authority.
3.8. English Language Requirement
The ability to communicate in and comprehend the English language is a specific requirement of the Health Practioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCAA). If English is not your first spoken language you will be required to demonstrate a reasonable level of proficiency before you can be registered by passing 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.
If English is not your first language you are exempt from the requirement to sit the English language proficiency test, if at least four years of your secondary schooling and your entire midwifery education programme was in English. You will need to apply for this exemption and provide the Council with evidence of the secondary schooling. This is the only exemption the Council allows. All other applicants must sit the English language proficiency test regardless of their circumstance.
There are two English language proficiency tests recognised by the Midwifery Council:
International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS)
You must achieve an overall pass rate in the Academic Module of no less than 7.5, with no less than 7 in each of the 4 bands. A pass may be achieved over a number of sittings not more than 12 months apart, however any qualifying scores counting toward entry must be obtained in the same test. A listing of test centres can be found at the IELTS website (www.ielts.org). The individual testing centre sites (links at IELTS) give test dates. You must instruct the testing centre to send a copy of your results directly to the Midwifery Council.
Occupational English Test (OET)
You must achieve either A or B in each section. A pass may 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. More information about the OET may be found at www.occupationalenglishtest.org/. You must instruct the testing centre to send a copy of your results directly to the Midwifery Council.
4.1. Monitoring the Progress of your Application
To monitor the progress of your application log in to your account and select the option to check your application status.
If you meet the fitness, qualification, and competence requirements (with the exception of specific competencies and criteria related to New Zealand context) you will be entered into the Register. You will receive a confirmation of registration which will specify any conditions that apply and a Certificate of Registration.
If you do not meet the fitness requirements, your application will be declined. It may be possible to reapply at a later date if your circumstances change.
If you do not meet the qualification requirements, your application will be declined. In this situation you have the option of applying to a New Zealand midwifery education programme and gain registration on successful completion of the Bachelor of Midwifery programme. You may be able to gain some recognition for prior learning from your overseas education programme.
If the Council is unsure whether your midwifery qualification, and post registration practice and education are equivalent to the prescribed New Zealand entry to registration standards you will need to undertake a Registration Assessment. You will be required to complete an online exam and then a clinical assessment in the form of an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). The examination can be undertaken in New Zealand or at an overseas location hosted by the provider, Aspeq. Applicants will need to contact Aspeq to book their venue and pay for their examination. The OSCE is held at a test centre in New Zealand. There will be further costs for this assessment.
Your application may proceed if you pass the Registration Assessment.
5. After Registration
5.1. Annual Practising Certificate
Once you have gained registration you will need to apply for an Annual Practising Certificate (APC) . You may not practise midwifery in New Zealand without a current practising certificate.
A separate application and fee is necessary for your practising certificate. A list of the current fees is on the website (see For Midwives/Practising Certificates). Practising certificates are issued annually and expire on 31 March each year.
On application for your first practising certificate, you must provide:
- A plan to complete the overseas competence programme. This must include evidence of either completion of or enrolment in the New Zealand maternity and midwifery systems module
- evidence of employment or, if intending to work as an LMC, of details of how you will practise within an established group practice. You will also be required to have a mentor who will be formally appointed to the role by the Council. A report will be sought from the mentor at the end of each year until the Overseas Competence Programme is completed, giving feedback on your integration into the NZ maternity system. Please refer to Gazetted Fees for the cost of mentoring.
- evidence of completion of Cultural Competence module
5.2. Overseas Competence Programme
There will be a number of conditions on your Scope of Practice that reflect competencies required of midwives in New Zealand and which do not have a parallel in other jurisdictions. These are likely to be:-
- Must work as an employed midwife or as a Lead Maternity Carer in an established group practice
- May not prescribe prescription medicines
- Must complete a competence programme with the following modules:
- New Zealand Maternity and Midwifery Systems
- Pharmacology and Prescribing for Midwives
- Examination of the Newborn
- Cultural Competence * this must be completed before the issue of the first APC
- Treaty of Waitangi
- Growth Assessment Protocol (GAP)
You will have two years from the date of your first practising certificate to complete this education.
You must practise either as an employed midwife or within an established group practice which includes formal professional practice arrangements with structured back up and regular practice meetings. No midwives in the practice may be under Council processes.
5.3. Recertification Programme
The Midwifery Council is required by the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act to ensure that midwives continue to meet the competencies for practice as a midwife each year before reissuing practising certificates. To satisfy the Council, all midwives must participate in the Midwifery Council Recertification Programme (continuing professional development). You will be sent information about the requirements upon registration. Information can also be found at our website under For Midwives/Recertification.
6. The Health Provider Index (HPI)
A national index of health practitioners is administered by the Ministry of Health.
The purpose of the HPI is to uniquely identify health practitioners and to hold that information in a central, national database. It may also hold details of some non-practitioners (e.g., hospital admission clerk, medical centre practice manager), healthcare organisations, and health delivery facilities. It will facilitate electronic data sharing, for example for claiming subsidised healthcare payments, and access to patient health information.
More Information can be found at the Health Provider Index website.
The information collected by the Council about you is governed by the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 and the Privacy Act 1993. 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. Some personal information is also given to Ministry of Health Sector Services who validate payment claims associated with maternity services and act as agents of District Health Boards for payment.