Direct-Entry Midwifery Programme Guide 

Last Edited 4 January 2024 08:17 CET

The midwifery programme guide provides an overview of the key components of a direct-entry midwifery pre-service programme to help guide midwifery teachers/faculty to either develop a new credential or revise pre-existing pre-service programmes. The intent is to provide midwifery teachers/faculty with the core components of a programme of study, which can be modified to reflect the contextual and cultural needs of both the country maternal and newborn health services and the faculty and students.    

Please note that the components listed herein are not exhaustive. This document is meant to serve as a standard that midwifery teachers/faculty can adapt, adopt or build upon to improve their curriculum. We encourage (and expect) midwifery teachers/faculty to modify this guide to address the particular needs of the students and country context.    

Why a direct-entry midwifery programme?   

Over recent decades there has been a global shift toward the recognition of midwifery as a separate cadre than nursing. Across high-income countries the trend is that midwifery training is primarily a direct-entry programme with no prerequisite of a nursing background. This midwifery education is now being introduced in many low-to-middle income countries (LMIC) in an effort to provide expert woman-centred care and improve maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. 

A direct-entry, pre-service midwifery programme means that students may be admitted to the programme directly upon attainment of the required level of secondary school/ high school qualification that enables them to undertake a programme of study that leads to qualification as an autonomous midwife. The programme focuses solely on training students to be midwives; nursing is not part of the qualification.   

Who is this guide for?  

This guide is primarily for midwifery teachers/faculty and curriculum developers responsible for developing or revising a direct-entry midwifery programme. Administrators may wish to use this guide to inform the development of a curriculum, ideally in partnership with teachers/faculty, students and other key stakeholders (e.g., midwife practitioners, regulators, etc.).    

We recognise that many midwifery teachers/faculty may have little or no experience in revising or developing a curriculum. Ideally, educators with experience in curriculum development (e.g., writing outcome statements, developing authentic assessments that are aligned with the outcomes, creating learning strategies based on applied learning principles, etc.) will support any revision or creation of a new midwifery programme. It is important to identify the faculty’s strengths and weaknesses in curriculum development and seek out support for those areas that present challenges.    

We also endorse a collaborative approach to curriculum development. Effective curricula are socially constructed, which means including all faculty and relevant stakeholders in the development process. Creating buy-in and acceptance by all faculty is important to the successful delivery of the final programme of study.