Future midwife

Redefining the standards

We're redefining the standards that students will need to meet in order to deliver evidence-based, compassionate and safe care at the point of registration.

As part of this work, we'll be launching a 12-week consultation on our draft standards in February 2019 and we want to hear from you. Find out how to get involved below.

Why we need to develop new standards for the future midwife

The demands on  midwives are constantly changing, meaning they need to deal with more wide-ranging challenges than ever before to provide better and safer care.

The profile of pregnant women is changing, their birthing choices have never been more diverse and this (and more) is placing greater demands on what a midwife needs to know to practice safely and effectively at the point of registration.

To make sure that the midwives of the future are ready for the challenges ahead, we’re reviewing and working to future-proof the standards of proficiency for registered midwives.

The draft standards, informed by the best evidence and developed in partnership with midwives, mothers, families and other health professionals, set out the proposed knowledge and skills the next generation of midwives will need to know so that they can deliver world class care in communities across the UK.  

We've asked Professor Mary Renfrew, Professor of Mother and Infant Health at the University of Dundee and  internationally respected academic in the field of midwifery, to lead this vital piece of work.

Watch this video of  Mary talking about our future midwife programme

What we’ve done so far

From May to July 2018 we engaged with over 600 people from a broad range of key interest groups. This involved:

  • 5 workshops across the UK in Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow, London and Manchester
  • 8 focus groups with clinical midwives and educators in Antrim, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Swansea
  • 10 focus groups with a range of people, from student midwives to new mothers, in Antrim, Belfast, Cardiff, London, Manchester and York
  • a roundtable with multi-disciplinary health and care professionals
  • a forum exploring an early draft of the proficiencies with 40 people from across the UK including educators, clinical midwives and government representatives
  • 9 thought leadership group meetings
  • 5 virtual thought leadership group webinars
  • webinars specifically aimed at remote and rural midwives, as well as professors of midwifery from across the UK
  • conversations with a wide range of advocacy groups
  • meetings with professional associations and representative bodies
  • regular email updates

Where we are now

Through our collaboration with such a wide range of groups and individuals, we’re developing draft standards of proficiency. At its meeting in November 2018, our Council approved a public consultation on these draft standards which will be launched in February 2019.  

During the public consultation, we’ll be holding events across the country as well as a series of webinars and Twitter chats to hear your views. We would also encourage you to respond in writing to our consultation.

View our timeline of key stages.

How to get involved

You can sign up to our Virtual Thought Leadership Group to receive updates on our progress and invites to upcoming engagement opportunities.

You can also follow us on Twitter and check for updates using #FutureMidwife.

We’ll also share details of any upcoming events on our website so look out for further updates.