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What does it take to qualify as a midwife?

Pre-registration midwifery education programmes are four-year Bachelor degree programmes. They are designed to prepare students for registration and practice as a midwife in New Zealand.

Midwifery students undertaking their programe of education in New Zealand should make themselves familiar with the New Zealand graduates' application guidelines for registration

Midwives who did their programme of education in a different country other than New Zealand should make themselves familiar with the Internationally qualified midwives' application guidelines.

How long will it take to become a midwife?

The degree is four years.

Before they can be registered, midwifery students in New Zealand have to:

  • successfully complete a four-year Bachelor of Midwifery programme at one of the five accredited Midwifery Schools (attached to tertiary institutions);
  • pass the National Midwifery Examination set by the Midwifery Council; and
  • satisfy the Midwifery Council that they are fit for registration and must:
    •  be of good character 
    •  not have any mental or physical condition that will prevent you from practising effectively as a midwife
    •  be able to communicate effectively
    •  be fluent in written and spoken English

The transcript of each successful graduate from a degree programme will include completion of:

  • more than 2400 clinical hours
  • more than 1920 theory hours
  • more than 4800 total hours
  • has participated in a minimum of 25 follow-throughs
  • has performed at least 100 antenatal assessments
  • has performed at least 100 neonatal assessments
  • has performed at least 100 postnatal assessments of babies
  • no less than 40 births facilitated
  • no less than 40 Complications
  • no more than 75 credits of Recognition Prior Learning granted (without prior permission)
  • no more than 4 years in programme (without prior permission)
  • Head of School confirmation in competence and fitness to practise

Convictions and Health

The Council will ask you to disclose any convictions and to consent to New Zealand Police vetting when you apply to sit the National Midwifery Exam and to be registered as a midwife.

If such an offence has occurred, the Council will consider factors such as the nature of the offence and the circumstances surrounding it, the penalty imposed, the time passed, and any discernible pattern of offending.

The Council will also 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 and you will need to complete the Health Status Disclosure Statement Form.

You should put your circumstance before the Council for its consideration if in doubt. Failure to discuss any convictions or health issues is in itself grounds to question your honesty and fitness for practice. Any convictions or health issues will not necessarily prevent your being registered. 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 any serious conviction or health concerns, you may discuss these with the Council when you enter the programme before committing yourself to midwifery study.