TTMRA application guidelines
These Application Guidelines relate to midwives who are registered in Australia and who wish to apply to be registered in New Zealand under the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement. This Agreement between the New Zealand and Australian governments provides that persons registered in Australia and New Zealand who practise substantially the same registered occupations can move freely between both countries. Conditions may apply in order to achieve equivalence of occupations. The agreement has been ratified in law by New Zealand and all of the Australian states. If you are registered to practise midwifery in any Australian state you are entitled to seek registration as a midwife in New Zealand. This right is exercised by giving notice in the form of making an application, completing a Statutory Declaration and paying the application fee. The fee is for making the application and is not refundable if the application is unsuccessful.
The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act and the Midwifery Council of New Zealand
The legislation providing for the regulation of midwives in New Zealand is the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (referred to in this document as the HPCAA). The HPCAA applies equally to all classes of health practitioner and came into full effect on 18 September 2004. The HPCCA established the Midwifery Council and vested responsibility for the regulation of midwives in the Council. The Midwifery Council is responsible for determining the Scope of Practice of a midwife, the requirements and qualifications for registration, the requirements for the issue of practising certificates and for certain disciplinary matters. In New Zealand midwifery is a distinct profession from nursing with each having different Registering Authorities.
Requirements for Registration
Before you will be registered as a midwife you must satisfy the Midwifery Council that you are currently entitled to practise as a midwife in Australia. This means that you:
- are registered as a midwife in Australia
- hold a current practising certificate or licence
- are not the subject of any disciplinary proceedings or under investigation in relation to any matter which may lead to disciplinary proceedings, or under any prohibition relating to your practice as a midwife
The Midwifery Council also needs details of your midwifery qualifications and midwifery practice in the previous five years. The description of your midwifery practice should include the following:
- employment history
- position descriptions
- practice arrangements
This information will assist us to assess whether your midwifery skills are current and equivalent to New Zealand requirements for practice. If your midwifery practice is not current, you may be registered here but may be required to complete a Return to Practice programme before a practising certificate will be granted.
Your midwifery qualifications are recorded in the Register of Midwives for information purposes but are not considered as part of the application. It is not necessary that your pre-registration midwifery education was in Australia. Midwives from other countries can apply under the TTMRA provisions provided they have a current registration in Australia.
The Council makes enquiries with the regulatory authority in Australia to ensure that the information supplied in your Notice of Application and Declaration is correct, and to verify whether there are any conditions or restrictions relating to your registration or practice in Australia.
Certification of Documents
Some documents in support of this application must be an original or a certified copy. A copy of any document can only be certified as a true copy by one of the following:
- A solicitor
- A Justice of the Peace
- A Notary Public
Certification by any other person will not be accepted. The certifier must confirm that the copy is a true copy of the original, must sign, and must clearly print their name, the capacity under which they are signing, and their contact details.
If a document has to be translated into English a certified translation by a qualified translator is required.
THE APPLICATION FORM
We must have full and current contact details. You are legally required to keep these up-to-date throughout the application process and beyond. You can change your address online at this internet site. A letter or email is also acceptable. We will post matters to do with your application to the address that you provide.
This is your cultural, racial, and perhaps religious grouping e.g. Maori, New Zealand European/Pakeha, Australian, Chinese, Assyrian. The Council will record your ethnicity according to the classification system used by the New Zealand Department of Statistics. You can enter up to two ethnicities.
The Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement provides that your application must be supported with a statutory declaration. When we receive your application we will acknowledge receipt and email you the declaration form that you are required to make. You can also download this form at this internet site.
If you have any additional pages relating to information in your Statutory Declaration, these must be incorporated into your Statutory Declaration. We strongly recommend that you seek the assistance of the person taking your Declaration to ensure this is done correctly.
Identity Documents - Evidence of Change of Name
The Council is required to confirm your identity with certainty.
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.
If your current name is not the same as on the identity documents supplied 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.
ASSESSMENT AND REGISTRATION
Under the provisions of the TTMRA your application for registration must be granted, postponed, or refused within one month of receipt of your application. This period runs from the date the application is complete. That is when all required documents and the fee have been received by the Council. Registration is confirmed within a few days in nearly all cases.
The Council may postpone or refuse the grant of registration if:
- Any of your statements or information are materially false or misleading; or
- Any required document is materially false or misleading; or
- Any required document has not been provided; or
- The Council determines that the occupation for which you are registered in Australia is not equivalent to midwifery in New Zealand and that equivalence cannot be achieved by the imposition of conditions
- Your circumstances have materially changed since the date of your Notice of Application
Notification of Council Decision
You will be notified of the Council's decision. You have the right to require the Council to supply details of any reasons to impose conditions on your registration, or to postpone the grant of registration, or to refuse registration. You can seek a review of the decision by the Trans Tasman Occupations Tribunal.
If your application is successful, you will be entered into the New Zealand Register of Midwives with the Midwifery Scope of Practice. Once granted, registration takes effect as if it had been granted immediately on receipt of your Notice of Application by the Council. You will receive a confirmation of registration which will specify any conditions that apply, a Certificate of Registration, and an application form for a practising certificate.
New Zealand does accept application for registration from TTMR new graduates (someone who has less than twelve month’s midwifery practice experience at 32 hours per week). However see the section for New Graduates below (under After Registration) for important information.
Overseas Midwives Competence Programme/Conditions on Scope of Practice
It is probable that there will be a number of conditions on your Scope of Practice that reflect competencies required of midwives in New Zealand that do not have a parallel in other jurisdictions or have a different context in New Zealand. Examples of these are:
- Must work as an employed midwife or as a Lead Maternity Carer in an established group practice
- May not prescribe prescription medicines
- Must complete an Overseas 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 must also at this time inform the Council of the name of a nominated mentor. 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.
Registration in New Zealand is effectively for life. You will remain on the Register unless you ask to be removed, or are struck off for disciplinary reasons, or become deceased. Registration does not itself confer the right to practise in New Zealand. You may not practise midwifery in New Zealand without a current practising certificate.
This application is concerned only with your application to be entered into the New Zealand Register of Midwives within the Midwifery Scope of Practice. Registration alone does not in itself confer authority to practise as a midwife. For this you must hold a current Practising Certificate. A separate application and fee is necessary for your practising certificate. Once you have been registered, you will need to apply online for a Practising Certificate. When you receive your documentation of confirmation of registration, you will receive instructions how to apply online including a list of the current fees. Practising certificates are issued annually and expire on 31 March each year.
Applicants should note that successful registration in New Zealand does not imply that the applicant will automatically qualify for a practising certificate. Once registered under the provisions of the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement the applicant is then subject to New Zealand requirements for the granting of a practising certificate. All applicants applying for a practising certificate, regardless of their origin, must be able to show midwifery practise experience in the different parts of the midwifery scope in the three years preceding the application. This does not include nursing practise, management experience, or teaching experience. Midwives in these situations may be required to complete a return to practice programme before they can practise here. Please contact the Council if you require clarification.
New graduate midwives must be aware of a number of factors affecting their eligibility for a practising certificate.
It is expected that all new graduate midwives will enter into midwifery practice immediately or shortly after graduation. This is considered necessary to consolidate and build on the learning outcomes of their pre-registration midwifery programme.
Midwives who do not enter into practice within two years of completing their midwifery qualification will most likely be required to undertake a competence assessment process to determine the state of their midwifery skills. For the same reason a midwife who ceases practice without completing 12 months practice after graduation may also be subject to a competence review before any further practising certificates will be issued. This is a separate matter from the Council's return to practice requirements.
All new graduate midwives must complete the New Zealand Midwifery First Year of Practice Programme. However, the New Zealand Government will only fund this programme for graduates from the New Zealand midwifery schools. Australian new graduate midwives must meet the cost of this programme themselves. The programme is administered under contract to the government by the New Zealand College of Midwives. All questions concerning entry into the programme and the costs should be directed to the College. The Council will require evidence of enrolment before it will grant the first practising certificate.
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 of their competence, all midwives must participate in the Midwifery Council Recertification Programme (continuing professional development). You will be sent information about the requirements with the confirmation of registration. You can also view information about the recertification requirements under the Recertification tab.
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.