CfM Position on Education and Credentialing of Midwives

Adopted by the Board of Directors of Citizens for Midwifery, 22 May 1997

The education, credentialing and licensing of midwives are of critical concern to consumers, because they determine whether or not childbearing women will be able to
get the kind of midwifery care they want and need.

EDUCATION

CfM encourages the development and use of accredited midwifery education programs. By setting specific standards and requiring accountability, accreditation of midwifery educational programs can benefit both midwives and consumers.

Accreditation standards and requirements should be reasonably achievable by a wide variety of programs representing diversity of location, cost, duration and teaching methods – from individualized hands-on learning programs to formal academically-based programs. Increased availability of accredited midwifery education programs would help to meet consumer needs for more midwives and for diversity in the style and setting of midwifery care.

Clinical experience should include hands-on experiences in out-of-hospital settings in the areas of prenatal, intrapartal, postpartal, neonatal, and family planning care, as well as experience in early recognition of and appropriate responses to abnormal conditions. Clinical experience in out-of-hospital settings is essential for understanding and learning to responsibly provide the Midwifery Model of Care.

CfM recognizes that both the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) and the American College of Nurse-Midwives/Division of Accreditation (ACNM/DOA) are appropriate accrediting bodies for midwifery education, but neither one alone meets all midwifery education accreditation needs.

Consumers should participate in the review of accreditation standards for midwifery education.

CREDENTIALING

CfM recognizes that both the Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) and the Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) credentials help meet the consumer need for identifying competent midwives who are accountable to their peers.

Midwifery credentials should be attainable by midwives who have achieved mastery of the knowledge and skills necessary to practice entry-level midwifery, and should not be limited only to midwives who have completed university-based programs.

Consumers should fully participate in reviewing and improving credential standards and processes.

LICENSING

CfM promotes the legal recognition of the CPM credential in every jurisdiction; supports enactment of licensing laws that provide for the autonomous practice of direct-entry midwifery in all settings; and encourages community-based midwifery.

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