Earlier this week I introduced you to the ICM Core Competencies for Midwifery. Today I want to introduce you the the ICM Education Standards for Midwifery.
The educational standards document is a bit different from the core competencies document because it deals with a different aspect of the process of becoming a midwife. Specifically, it deals with the quality of the training program rather than the quality of the student. Educational Standards reflect best practice in preparing midwives to meet community needs. Some of these reflect ethical values, such as clearly written admission policies to ensure all interested participants have equal access. Other standards reflect practical training issues, such as students must provide care under the supervision of a midwife (which means the clinical training is provided by a midwife rather than a nurse or physician).
While the Core Competencies document will help you evaluate a curriculum, the educational standards document will help you evaluate a program or school. Programs which do not adhere to the standards may not be the best choice for preparing you as a midwife.
At the ICM website you will find a variety of other tools which can help you make your decision about midwifery. Tools are also available to help you advocate for appropriate midwifery training and legislation in your area.
Next week we will begin exploring different types of midwifery.