ICM Governance 

The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) is comprised of 140 Member Midwives’ Associations and is governed by the Council, who is the highest authority. ICM has three categories of membership; Full, Affiliate and Associate. The Council comprises those with full membership, who then reserve the right to vote at Council Meetings. Each Full Member Association is represented by one or two delegates and belongs to one of ICM’s six geographical regions. 

The business of ICM is administered by the Board and the Head Office, on behalf of the Council. The registered Head Office is in The Hague, The Netherlands, and ICM is bound by the provisions stated in the Articles of Association (referred to as the Constitution in these policies) and incorporated in accordance with the Laws of the Netherlands and in the Governing Policies.

The Governance Structure of ICM


ICM Member Midwives’ Associations 

ICM Member Associations are organised into six geographical areas. They are:  

  • Africa   
  • America   
  • Eastern Mediterranean  
  • Europe  
  • South-East Asia  
  • Western Pacific  

Each region is made up of Member Associations, who elect their representatives to the ICM Council. 

The ICM Council  

ICM Council is the decision-making authority of the Confederation, which sets the strategic direction of ICM and provides a mandate to the Board. It should be noted that: 

  • Members of the Council are nominated by their Member Associations; 
  • The Council meets annually and once every three years for the Triennial Council meeting;   
  • Only Full Member Associations that have paid their annual membership fee can vote at Council meetings, and each such association has two votes;  
  • Council meetings are chaired by the President of the Board or in their absence any member of the Board, except the Treasurer.  

The ICM Board  

The ICM Board’s purpose is to implement the decisions of the Council and lead the formulation of a strategic plan. They are responsible for the overall governance of ICM and are guided by Board Governance Policies. It should be noted that: 

  • There are three office holders of the ICM Board: the President, the Vice-President and the Treasurer. The rest of the Board are made up of Regional members from the six regions, with each region having one Board member. 
  • Board Members serve a three-year term, with the possibility of a second term. The President and Vice-President are elected at the ICM Triennial Council meeting. Other members are elected by their regions and the Treasurer is appointed by the Independent Election Committee (IEC).
    • The IEC, comprised of four MA representatives and an independent Chair, develops a framework for Board candidate evaluation, assesses candidates, and selects candidates for recommendation to MAs and Council Delegates. 
  • The Board gives authority to the Chief Executive who is given guidance by written policies (Chief Executive Limitations Policies) and formal decisions of the Board; 
  • Members of the Board (apart from the Treasurer) must be a midwife belonging to a Full Member Association.  

The Chief Executive and Head Office  

The ICM Chief Executive is responsible for the day-to-day operations of ICM’s Head Office, aligned with ICM’s Strategy and following the decisions of the ICM Council and the Board. It should be noted that: 

  • The Chief Executive makes decisions and develops activities for the Head Office which are considered appropriate to achieve the goals of ICM;  
  • The Head Office establishes and manages communication channels for effective liaison with Member Associations, the Board, core partners and other organisations;  
  • The Head Office records and maintains accurate minutes of all meetings of the Council, Board and other committees of ICM. 


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