Reshaping the future of midwifery education in the UK

We're redefining the standards that students will need to meet in order to join the profession. As part of this work, we want to hear from you.

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

Along with Mary, we're seeking the views of midwives, women, their families, educators, students and advocacy groups, on what the new standards should include. We'll then consult on the draft standards in early 2019. The final standards will come into force in 2020.

Watch a video of Mary introducing our future midwife programme:

Why we need to develop new standards for the future midwife

The demands on modern midwives are constantly changing, meaning they need to deal with more wide-ranging challenges than ever before. 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 and be prepared for.

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 new standards will outline what is required of student midwives before they can join the register and begin practising as qualified midwives.

What we’ve done so far

We carried out the second phase of our early engagement from May to July 2018.

In this time, we engaged with over 500 people from a broad range of key interest groups through:

  • 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 number of advocacy groups
  • meetings with professional associations and representative bodies
  • regular email updates

What we’re doing next

The range of views and feedback we’ve gathered is helping us to develop draft standards of proficiency. We’ll take these draft standards to our Council in November 2018, and then consult on them publicly in February 2019.

During the public consultation, we’ll be holding events across the country to hear your views. You’ll also have an opportunity 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.