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Professional Standards

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Essential Documents

Midwives in the United States practice in accordance with standards set by the Midwives Alliance and other professional midwifery organizations. The Midwives Alliance Standards and Qualifications for the Art and Practice of Midwifery (revised 2005), and the Midwives Alliance Statement of Values and Ethics (revised 2010), demonstrate the clinical skills and judgments described in the Midwives Alliance Core Competencies for Midwifery Practice (revised 2011.)

Midwives Alliance Core Competencies for Midwifery Practice

The Midwives Alliance Core Competencies for Midwifery Practice establishes the essential knowledge, clinical skills and critical thinking necessary for entry-level midwifery practice. The guiding principles of practice for Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) are based on the MANA Core Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice (approved in 1994, revised in 2011.) The Core Competencies inform practicing midwives, student midwives, midwifery education programs, consumers, accreditation and certification agencies, state and federal legislators, licensing authorities, health policy makers and other health care professionals concerning the practice of midwifery. Individual midwives are responsible to the licensing authority and regulations of the jurisdiction within which they practice.

Midwives provide care to parturient women and their newborn babies in a variety of settings in accordance with the Midwives Model of Care™, which is based on the principle that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes for women and infants. The scope of midwifery practice may be expanded beyond the Core Competencies to incorporate additional skills and procedures that enhance care for women and their families.

Midwives Alliance Standards and Qualifications for the Art and Practice of Midwifery

The Midwives Alliance Standards and Qualifications for the Art and Practice of Midwifery describe the following standards and qualifications for midwifery practice: skills; appropriate equipment and treatment; recordkeeping; data collection; compliance with public health requirements; medical consultation, collaboration and referral; informed choice; continuing education; peer review; practice guidelines; and expanded scope of practice.

Midwives Alliance Statement of Values and Ethics

The Midwives Alliance Statement of Values and Ethics is a critical reflection of moral issues as they pertain to maternal and child health and is intended to provide guidance for professional conduct in the practice of midwifery, as well as influence MANA's organizational policies, thereby promoting high quality care for childbearing families.

Global Standards, Competencies and Tools

The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Council of Delegates to the 2008 meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, voted to update existing documents and develop new core documents. The new and updated documents describe the “Three Pillars” of midwifery, which are education, regulation, and association—E.R.A. The Three Pillars constitute ICM’s global efforts to strengthen midwifery worldwide in order to provide high quality, evidence-based health services for women, newborns, and childbearing families in every country across the planet. These three pillars, education, regulation and association, are interdependent, and the documents cited below represent a complete package of information on these topics for midwives, policy makers, educators, regulators, midwifery associations, and governments. View the new and updated documents (June 2011.)

  1. Global Standards for Midwifery Education (new)
  2. Global Standards for Midwifery Regulation (new)
  3. Essential Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice (updated)
  4. Member Association Capacity Assessment Tool (updated)

The creation and adoption of the new Global Standards for Midwifery Education and Global Standards for Midwifery Regulation represent the first time that a health care profession has adopted global standards for its profession. These vital documents were created with input from ICM member associations in all four ICM global regions, including the Midwives Alliance, drafted by expert task force members, approved by the ICM Board of Directors, and endorsed by the 2011 ICM Council of Delegates.

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