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Back 21 February 2017

Development of Midwifery Education Accreditation Programme underway

Early February the ICM Chief Executive, Sally Pairman and ICM officials met with the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (the Swiss TPH) to discuss on the development of a project entitled - Midwifery Education Accreditation Programme (MEAP). Below is a summary of the MEAP and the activities that will be carried out by the Swiss TPH.

The development of a Midwifery Education Accreditation Programme (MEAP) creates a scheme whereby midwifery education programmes, a key pillar of a strong profession, can be assessed in terms of efficacy in producing competent midwives. ICM established Global Standards for Midwifery Education (2010, amended 2013), Essential Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice (2011 amended 2013) and Model Curriculum Outlines for Midwifery Education (2012). These documents have proved very popular and are referred to a lot in national, regional and international project development processes. However, there is currently no assessment process to confirm that an education programme meets these standards and can therefore lead to the development of midwives with the essential competencies.

Given this background, with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ICM is therefore, taking the initiative to develop an accreditation scheme, to serve as a guideline for midwifery education programmes aiming to meet international standards. The programme will provide an independent assessment of midwifery education programmes, certifying that they meet the standards, and to what extent, or identifying areas where the standards are not met.  It will provide governments, funders, educational institutions and investors with an independent means, which could be self-administered, to assess the value of investments in midwifery education, information on where to invest to improve outcomes the assurance that the education is adequately equipping midwives with the relevant competencies for the conduct of their work.  With this programme ICM will accelerate the process of harmonising midwifery globally, and will be able to encourage countries to aspire to an accredited programme for the benefit of their own populations

MEAP group photo

Swiss TPH team with ICM officials from (l-r), Nester Moyo-Senior -ICM Midwifery Advisor, Swiss TPH consultant, Dr. Leah Bohle- Swiss TPH Social Anthropologist, Sally Pairman-ICM Chief Executive, Swiss TPH IT expert, Shantanu Garg-Project Officer, Dr. Axel Hoffman-Deputy Head of Department Education and Training.  

ICM has contracted Swiss TPH to carry out this task and the team met in early February for an inception meeting to kick start the development process.

“ICM is excited to work with Swiss TPH and feel happy and confident after seeing the dedicated team; we trust we together, we will come up with a very sound, comprehensive and much needed Global accreditation programme,” said ICM Chief Executive, Sally Pairman.

In a period of one year the Swiss TPH aims to perform the following activities, among others:-

  1. Develop the accreditation criteria and accreditation process, using the existing ICM Global Standards for Midwifery Education and Essential Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice as the basis for the assessment and accreditation
  2. Develop an accreditation application process including online application tools
  3. Provide advisory support to ICM in the set-up of a certification board  
  4. Conduct training of a selected group of experts to establish a to establish a team of MEAP accreditors in the 3 ICM languages – English, Spanish and French.
  5. Pilot the criteria, accreditation and application process with three selected organisations in English speaking countries

Provision of midwifery education of highest quality has tremendous impact not only on the work force performance and quality of services provided, but also the lives of women, their new-borns and their families. 

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