Future midwife

Our consultation on the future midwife standards is now closed. 

Read more about the consultation and what we did below.

Why we're developing new standards for the future midwife

The context in which midwives practice is constantly changing. This means midwives need to deal with more wide-ranging challenges than ever before to provide the best and safest care.

We know that the demographics, health profiles and birthing choices of women have never been more diverse and this (and more) will inform what a midwife needs to know to practice safely and effectively at the point of registration.

How we consulted

These standards matter. That’s why it’s important that we hear the views of everyone who cares about midwifery. 

To help us do that we held a 12-week consultation for people to have their say on the draft new standards. That consultation is now closed. 

The response has been huge

Hundreds of people came to our consultation workshops and signed into our webinars. All in all, we engaged with more than 3,000 people at events, meetings and conferences during our consultation.

Read the blog from our Chief Executive Andrea Sutcliffe and Lead Advisor, Professor Mary Renfrew 

Out and about talking to people

During the consultation, we ran a programme of activity across the UK to ensure we met with as many different people as possible.

future midwife

We organised:

  • Fourteen workshop events in seven cities, in all four countries of the UK
  • Visits to maternity units around the country to take views from midwives in practice
  • Joint events with key stakeholders, including the Royal College of Midwives and the Council of Deans of Health
  • Two roundtable events to hear feedback from advocacy groups as well as other health and care professionals and their representative organisations
  •  Exhibitions at important conferences around the country to raise awareness of the draft new standards
  • Four webinars that focussed on answering questions from educators, midwives and interested groups and organisations
  • Two Twitter chats, one in partnership with the Council of Deans of Health, to take views from people who were unable to attend an event in person
  •  Qualitative engagement with seldom heard and underrepresented groups, such as the Travelling community and the LGBT+ community

Involving the experts

We asked Professor Mary Renfrew, Emeritus 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.

This work was based on the best current evidence, and draws on the quality framework and the definition of midwifery as set out in the Lancet Series on Midwifery, and on the definition of the midwife as set out by the International Confederation of Midwives – focussing on skilled care for all.

Professor Renfrew brought together a group of midwifery and maternity experts, other health and care professionals and service user representatives in a Thought Leadership Group to oversee the drafting of the new standards.The draft new standards were also considered by our Midwifery Panel and our Council before being approved for public consultation.

In case you missed it - watch the video 

What happens next

At the start of our consultation, we commissioned an independent research company to collate all the responses. Now that we’ve finished our consultation, we’ll receive an independently analysed report of what people told us.

We’ll use this report, as well as insight gathered from our engagement around the country, to refine the draft standards further.

It’s really important to us that these draft standards are co-produced, so we’re reconvening the Thought Leadership Group and continuing to take feedback from key stakeholders.

We’ll submit the final draft standards to our Council for consideration at their October meeting. If approved, the standards will first take effect in September 2020 and be fully implemented by September 2021

How to stay 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 or check out #FutureMidwife.