Why are midwives regulated?
The Midwifery Council is responsible for protecting the health and safety of members of the public by providing mechanisms to ensure that midwives are competent and fit to practise midwifery. One of the ways the Council protects the public is by having a robust registration process - in order to be registered, applicants must hold the prescribed midwifery qualification and meet other stringent requirements.
Following registration, midwives must hold an annual practising certificate which has to be applied for at the start of each year. They must also meet requirements to maintain and enhance competence and practise in accordance with the Code of Conduct.
The Midwifery Council strongly recommends that consumers seek maternity care only from a midwife who is registered with the Midwifery Council and who holds a current practising certificate.
Other ways in which the public is protected
The Midwifery Council has established policy and processes in other areas to regulate midwives.
- Pre-registration education (for Entry to the Register of Midwives)
- Recertification Programme to maintain and enhance competence of midwives
- Auditing processes to assess midwives' engagement in the Recertification Programme
- Return to Practice Programmes for midwives who have been out of practice for three or more years
We also have processes to deal with issues such as :
- Health problems that impact on ability to practise
- Ongoing competence
- Professional Conduct
A major focus is to ensure the ongoing competence of the midwifery workforce such that the care provided by midwives is safe and meets acceptable professional standards.
Processes are in place for members of the public to complain or seek further advice if they are not satisfied with the care they have received from a midwife.
“A major focus of this regulatory framework is to ensure the ongoing competence of the midwifery workforce such that the care provided is safe and meets high professional standards”