Internationally qualified midwives' application guidelines
Internationally qualified midwives may be able to apply for registration in New Zealand.
Applications for registration are made online. You must create an account at this internet site to start the process. Click on the link - Sign up / Login - at the top of the screen. Please carefully read the application guidelines below before proceeding and contact the Council if these are not clear. 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.
We must have full and current contact details. You are legally required to keep these up-to-date throughout the registration process and beyond. We will post matters to do with your application to the address that you provide.
Application Requirements and procedures
Create an Account
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 midwife in Australia. Read the TTMRA application guidelines.
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 on 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 before we assess the midwifery specific content.
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. We 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 us. We must also assure ourselves that your programme of education had 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.
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:
Post-registration midwifery practice experiences
- A full copy of your CV, a time line of your employment and professional development.
- Your employment history must state the position you held and include a detailed description of your midwifery practice
- 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 how this has been integrated into your practice.
You must also complete a self-assessment against the Competencies for Entry to the Register of Midwives.
Identity and Fitness for Registration
The Council is required to confirm your identity with certainty and you will be registered under your full legal name.
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 you are sending an overseas Driver Licence please ensure that both sides are sent and verified.
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.
Fitness for Registration — General Note
The 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
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 examiner and must be sent direct to the Midwifery Council by the practitioner.
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 by 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, nurse.
Self Declaration of Convictions
Any convictions you have 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.
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. The Council does not waive this requirement.
Usually this is straight forward but in some cases it can be a protracted process. It is suggested that you check the requirement in your situation well in advance. This link to New Zealand Immigration internet site explains the process to obtain a Police certificate that will also be acceptable to Council. Please do not obtain a Police certificate of a type other than specified there. It may not be accepted by Council.
If you have resided in New Zealand for 12 months or more please contact the Council for 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.
Registrations with Other Health Practitioner Authorities
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.
English Language Requirement
The ability to communicate in and comprehend the English language is a specific requirement of the 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. 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 direct 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. 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 direct to the Midwifery Council.
The application fee is $1000. Payment must be in New Zealand dollars. The fee must be paid at the time of the application or shortly thereafter. The Council offers a number of payment options but not a delayed payment option. If the fee is not received within a reasonable time period the application will be declined. In this situation you can apply again when you are able to pay.
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 by 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.
Assessment and Registration
Monitoring 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 - see below.
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 also be declined. In this situation you have the option of applying to a New Zealand midwifery education programme and could gain registration on completion of the 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 is equivalent to the New Zealand entry to registration standards it may require you to undertake a Competence Assessment. The Council may at its option request you to sit the written National Midwifery Examination (modified by removing New Zealand specific questions) as a first step. The examination can be held in New Zealand or at an overseas location as determined by the Council after consultation with you. Some cost will apply and must be paid by the applicant.
The Council may also require (with or without the examination) a clinical assessment within New Zealand at a location determined by the Council after consultation with you. This assessment will be performed by an approved Assessor for a period usually between four and six weeks and in accordance with the Council's policy for Competence Assessment. During this period you will be required to work with "student" status under the supervision of a qualified midwife assessor. There will be a fee for this assessment and this may vary according to the location of the assessment programme.
Your application may proceed if you pass the Competence Assessment.
You will be entered into the New Zealand Register of Midwives if your application is successful. You will receive a confirmation of registration which will specify any conditions applying and a Certificate of Registration.
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, within 24 months of the issue of the first practising certificate:
- New Zealand Maternity and Midwifery Systems
- Pharmacology and Prescribing for Midwives
- Examination of the Newborn
- Cultural Competence
- Treaty of Waitangi
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 means formal professional practice arrangements with structured back up and regular practice meetings. No midwives in the practice may be under Council processes.
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.
Registration in New Zealand is effectively for life. You will remain on the Register unless you request to be removed, or are struck off for disciplinary reasons, or die. However you may not practise midwifery in New Zealand without a current practising certificate.
A separate application and fee is necessary for your practising certificate. If your application for registration is successful then you can apply online for a midwifery 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.
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.
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 Provider Index (HPI). The HPI is a national database holding information to identify health providers, and it is administered by the Ministry of Health. 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.
Midwives can request that information held about them on the HPI be updated, this is done by contacting the Council.