Global Standards for Basic Midwifery Education (2010)

The ICM Council Decision in 2008 led to establishing the Global Standards for Midwifery Education. A Standard is defined as “a norm/uniform reference point that describes a required level of achievement or performance”.

The standards:

  • Set quality indicators based on global expectations.
  • Provide framework for design, the implementation, and evaluation of the ongoing quality of the programme.
  • Align with regulatory bodies the scope of midwifery practice.
  • Hold midwifery programme accountable to public.
  • Meet national and local workforce needs for qualified midwives.


They cover:

  • Midwifery leadership of programme.
  • Minimum length of midwifery programmes.
  • Minimum entry level of students & other qualifications.
  • Qualifications of midwifery theoretical & clinical teachers.
  • Competency-based teaching & learning strategies.
  • Minimum content of curriculum beginning with ICM Essential Competencies. 
  • Criteria for learning resources/practice facilities.
  • Ongoing evaluation of: students, teachers, the curriculum.


The Global Standards for Midwifery Education need to be used as a package;

“We call on governments to….provide education and training in the essential competencies for basic midwifery practice..and to strengthen midwifery services.” 
ICM, UNFPA, Jhpiego, WHO, GHWA, Unicef, FIGO, World Bank (2010). A global call to action: Strengthening midwifery to save lives and promote health of women and newborns.