Position Statement

Qualifications and Competencies of Midwifery Educators

Advocacy, Education, Enabling Environment
ICM
Last Edited 2 June 2023 21:55 CEST
A midwife demonstrates Method of Leopold Maneuvers to midwives participants at the workshop organized by Japan Academy of Midwifery in in Tokyo, Japan.

Background 

Midwifery has its own unique body of knowledge, and ICM Global Education Standards (2021) support the learning of distinct knowledge and skills to care for women and gender diverse people and their newborns. High-quality midwifery educational programmes are led by midwife educators/teachers who have maintained their competence in clinical practice, midwifery theory, and principles of adult education.  

A qualified midwife educator/teacher is a qualifed midwife with current practice experience who has successfully completed a programme of study and/or demonstrated competence in teaching that includes curriculum development, use of instructional strategies, and measurement and evaluation of student learning. In many countries, there is still a critical shortage of midwives with capacity to become proficient educators/ teachers, often resulting in teachers from other disciplines educating midwives. These educator/ teachers may not understand the unique scope of practice of midwives. 

 

Position 

ICM believes that the minimum requirements to become a midwifery educator should be in accordance with the ICM Global Standards for Midwifery Education (2021) and the WHO Midwifery Educator Core Competencies. These guiding documents outline the below qualifications for midwifery educators. 

The midwife teacher must:  

  • be qualified according to the ICM Definition of a Midwife  
  • demonstrate competency in practice, generally accomplished with a minimum of 2 years of full scope practice 
  • hold a current license/registration or other form of legal recognition to practise midwifery 
  • have formal preparation for teaching, or have undertaken such preparation as a condition of continuing to hold the position  
  • engage in ongoing development as a midwifery practitioner, teacher/lecturer and leader  
  • be an advocate within the programme and profession 
  • contribute to developing, implementing, and evaluating the curriculum 

The midwifery clinical preceptor/clinical teacher must:

  • be qualified according to the ICM Definition of a Midwife  
  • demonstrate competency in practice, generally accomplished with a minimum of 2 years of full scope practice  
  • maintain competency in midwifery practice   
  • hold a current license/registration or other form of legal recognition to practise midwifery  
  • have formal preparation for clinical teaching or have undertaken such preparation as a condition of continuing to hold the position 
  • Individuals from other disciplines who teach in the midwifery programme must be qualified in the content they teach.  
  • The Midwifery faculty must provide continuing education and mentoring to clinical preceptors/teachers who teach and evaluate students in clinical sites.  
  • Midwife teachers and clinical preceptors/clinical teachers must communicate regularly to facilitate and evaluate students’ learning.  
  • The ratio of midwifery students to clinical preceptors/teachers must align with the learning context and the needs of the students.  
  • The competence of midwifery faculty members must be assessed on a regular basis following an established process.  
  • Programme policies must protect teachers’ personal health, safety, and wellbeing in learning environments (e.g. in-person and online harassment; exposure to infectious, environmental or political hazards; verbal or physical abuse).  

 

Recommendations 

Member associations are encouraged to use this Position Statement when advocating for the implementation of this statement by collaborating with educational institutions and regulatory bodies. The use of this statement will guide them to establish or strengthen their role in setting the standards for midwifery educators in their country or region. 

Related ICM Documents 

 

Other Relevant Documents 

  • WHO. 2013. Midwifery Educator Core Competencies. 2013. 
  • WHO 2019. Framework for Action Strengthening Quality Midwifery Education for Universal Coverage 2020. 

 

Adopted at Glasgow Council meeting, 2008 

Reviewed and adopted at Prague Council meeting, 2014 

Reviewed and adopted at Bali Council meeting 2023 

Due for next review, 2026 

 

PS0040