Returning to midwifery practice
Under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 the Council must be confident that the midwife is competent and fit to practise midwifery before it issues an Annual Practising Certificate.
There are two policies explained on this page.
- Return to Practice. Where a midwife has not practised across the midwifery scope for three years or more. Practice means the provision of maternity care to pregnant, labouring, and postnatal women and their babies
- Return to New Zealand after Practising Overseas. Where a midwife has been practising midwifery but not in New Zealand.
Return to Practice
The HPCA Act requires the Midwifery Council to restrict the issue of an annual practising certificate if there are reasonable grounds to believe the applicant:
- has not held an annual practising certificate within the three years immediately preceding the date of the application; or
- has not, within the three years immediately preceding the date of the application, lawfully practised midwifery.
The Midwifery Council may decline to issue an annual practising certificate until the applicant has met certain conditions.
Open or download the Council's Return to Practice Policy Document to find out more about the Council's return to practice requirements for midwives who have not practised in the Midwifery Scope for three years or more.
The range of competencies which each midwife must meet when seeking to return to midwifery in New Zealand are detailed in the Practice Assessment Matrix.
Everyone must complete the Examination of the Newborn course, occasionally there is an exemption for theory but everyone must do practical components. Please click here for instructions and here for forms to complete examination of the newborn practice components. You will need five copies. The Online learning module is provided by Otago Polytechnic and Wintec.
Returning from overseas
Midwives who have worked overseas and want to re-enter New Zealand practice fall into three categories:
Category A Midwives who practised midwifery following graduation and have taken a break from NZ practice for less than three years and who now wish to re-enter NZ midwifery practice after a period practising overseas.
Category B Midwives who practised midwifery and have taken a break from NZ practice for between three and five years and who now wish to re-enter NZ midwifery practice after a period practising overseas.
Category C Midwives who have been out of NZ practice for more than five full years and who now wish to re-enter into NZ midwifery practice after a period practising overseas.
A medical certificate is required, amongst other things, and can be downloaded here.
To find out more about what a midwife must do to satisfy the Midwifery Council that they can practise in New Zealand download the Councils' policy document for midwives returning to New Zealand after practising overseas.