The development of a global Midwifery Education Accreditation Programme

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Journal Article
Global Health Action, 2018, 11 (1)
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© 2018, © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Background: Many countries are responding to the global shortage of midwives by increasing the student intake to their midwifery schools. At the same time, attention must be paid to the quality of education being provided, so that quality of midwifery care can be assured. Methods of assuring quality of education include accreditation schemes, but capacity to implement such schemes is weak in many countries. Objective: This paper describes the process of developing and pilot testing the International Confederation of Midwives’ Midwifery Education Accreditation Programme (ICM MEAP), based on global standards for midwifery education, and discusses the potential contribution it can make to building capacity and improving quality of care for mothers and their newborns. Methods: A review of relevant global, regional and national standards and tools informed the development of a set of assessment criteria (which was validated during an international consultation exercise) and a process for applying these criteria to midwifery schools. The process was pilot tested in two countries: Comoros and Trinidad and Tobago. Results: The assessment criteria and accreditation process were found to be appropriate in both country contexts, but both were refined after the pilot to make them more user-friendly. Conclusion: The ICM MEAP has the potential to contribute to improving health outcomes for women and newborns by building institutional capacity for the provision of high-quality midwifery education and thus improved quality of midwifery care, via improved accountability for the quality of midwifery education.
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