The nursing and medical education is highly regulated in the majority of countries worldwide. However, midwifery education (including theoretical and practical training) is far less regulated, potentially impacting on the varying quality of midwifery education provided. The UNFPA State of the World’s Midwifery Report (2011) estimated an overall shortage of 350’000 midwives globally. The need of more midwives is also acknowledged by the World Health Organisation (WHO), stating that more midwives are needed in order to improve maternal and newborn survival. While the number of practicing midwives needs to be increased, it is of great importance to ensure that the education of midwives is of highest quality and meets international standards.The provision of midwifery education of highest quality has tremendous impact not only on the work force performance and quality of services provided, but also on the lives of women, their newborns and their families as a whole.
The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) has developed a series of internationally guiding key documents for the education, practice and regulation of midwifery care, constituting a very valuable and highly frequented source for midwifery education institutions, regulatory bodies and international organisations among others.
Objectives and Aims
According to ICM, as of now no internationally guiding assessment or accreditation process is in place to certify that a midwifery (pre-registration) education program meets the standards developed by ICM. ICM is therefore taking the initiative to support the development of an accreditation system to serve as a guideline for midwifery education programmes, aiming to meet international standards. This will allow certifying an institution through an independent assessment of their midwifery education program(s) and certifying the extent of meeting the ICM standards.
An interdisciplinary team at the Swiss TPH composed of an accreditation expert, a health technology and online learning platform expert, an SRH expert and complemented by a midwifery expert has been working on the development of the Midwifery Education Accreditation Programme (MEAP). Throughout the developmental process the team was supported by ICM and a pool of external international midwifery experts. The accreditation process was tested in two countries and a selected pool of accreditation experts was trained. The MEAP will soon be finalized and will constitute the first global accreditation programme of its kind.
Midwives, mothers, newborns, higher education institutions, accreditation experts
Other important information
The team is composed of:
Team leader and accreditation expert: Dr. Axel Hoffmann
Project coordination and SRH expert: Dr. des. Leah F. Bohle
IT expert: Goncalo Castro
Midwifery expert: external consultant