Privacy policy

This policy  and procedure document relates to the information that Council collects about registered midwives from all sources. 

You can also view the privacy policy for users of the Midwifery Council Internet site here

 The use and storage of the information we collect  about you is governed primarily by the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCAA) and the Privacy Act 1993.  

Health Practitioner Competence Assurance Act (HPCAA)

The Council collects personal information needed so it can perform its functions as set down in the HPCAA.  This is to assess your suitability to be entered into the Register of Midwives, to assess your ongoing competence and suitability for the grant of a practising certificate, and to support the Council's duties in respect of any disciplinary, competence, or health matters.  Personal information may also be analysed and used in a summary form only, for consideration of workforce and other midwifery issues. 

The Privacy Act

The Privacy Act stipulates that the purpose for which the personal information is being collected must be disclosed and the information can only be used for that purpose.  You can ask to inspect this information at any time and ask us to correct it if it is incorrect.

The Register of Midwives 

The HPCAA requires all health practitioner regulatory authorities to maintain public registers of their practitioners.  The purpose is to allow any person to check the register and determine if a person is registered in that field, their qualifications, whether or not they hold a current practising certificate, and any conditions or restrictions on their practice.  The Register of Midwives can be viewed at this internet site at any time.  The Register is searched directly and the search will show all of the publicly available information.  

Contact Details

The HPCAA specifies that the Council must decide whether or not to publish your address details as part of the public register.  The Council has determined that it will publish your town only.

Registration Numbers

Registration numbers are assigned by the Council as unique identifiers and are not personal information. Registration numbers are not publicised on the online Register and are not generally available to the public.  However they are made available to:

  • the Ministry of Health for purposes related to claiming and Ministry monitoring
  • the coordinator of the Midwifery First Year in Practice Programme
  • individual or corporate entities which request registration numbers for purposes of identification, processing of payments, or other purposes related to the provision of maternity care   

Other Personal Details

During its dealings with you the Council may obtain a range of personal details and store these in your file or in our database.  It will record such details as are required to carry out its functions.  These details will not be released to other persons except as described below.

Other Health Practitioner Regulatory Authorities

The Council will supply verification of registration and current good standing (or not as the case may be) to other registration authorities, here or overseas, if you apply for registration with them.  In some cases your application to the other authority includes your permission for them to obtain this information, or authority for collection of this information is included in their legislation.  If this is not the case then you must request this from the Council yourself. 

Sector Services, Ministry of Health

The Council provides some personal information to Sector Services, a division of the Ministry of Health.  Sector Services is responsible for the payment of government fees for maternity services either directly to the midwife, or to the employer, or to a provider of services such as radiology and ultrasound, laboratory testing, and prescription medicines.  The only information supplied to Sector Services that is not in the public register is your registration number and your birth date.  This is provided for security of identification purposes.  

Health Provider Index (HPI)

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.  

The Health and Disability Commissioner - Other Judicial Authorities

The Health and Disability Commissioner is empowered by law to obtain information to support his investigations. The Council may also be required to provide some personal information to other judicial authorities like the Police and the Coroner.  In each case the Council will need to be sure that the organisation concerned has the authority to require the production of the information requested before releasing it. 

Research or Consultation by Other Organisations

From time to time the Council receives requests for the contact details of midwives from organisations wishing to carry out legitimate research or consultation projects on midwifery or maternity matters.  Council policy is generally not agree to these requests.  In some circumstance relating to the nature of the research it is possible Council may agree to a mail-out on behalf of the requesting organisation.  Any such mail-out will be carried out by the Council without releasing personal details to the requesting organisation.  However this is not one of Councils' functions and does not occur often.   

From time to time the Council will provide workforce data to the government or other organisations concerning midwifery workforce issues. 

Health Service Providers You Deal With 

The Council is often approached by persons such as pharmacist, radiologist, and medical laboratories seeking contact details or the registration number of midwives.  Usually this is because of a problem with a prescription or test order form.  The Council will not give out either your address or your registration number.  If it is important it may offer to telephone you and give you the contact details of the enquirer.