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The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) is a federation of midwifery associations representing countries across the globe. The ICM works closely with the World Health Organization, all United Nations agencies, and governments in support of safe motherhood and primary health care strategies for the world’s families. ICM takes the leadership role in development of the definition of the midwife, and the delineation of the midwifery scope of practice (the essential competencies). ICM also promotes standards and guidelines that define the expected structure and context of midwifery pre-service education programs; provides guidance for the development of regulations for midwifery practice; and assists countries tostrengthen the capacity of midwifery associations and to develop leaders of the midwifery profession worldwide.


The ICM Global standards for midwifery education (2010) are one of the essential pillars of ICM’s efforts to strengthen midwifery worldwide by preparing fully qualified 1 midwives to provide high quality, evidence-based health services for women, newborns, and childbearing families. ICM’s pillars include updated core competencies for basic midwifery practice, midwifery education, midwifery regulation and strong midwifery associations. The education standards were developed in tandem with the update of the Essential competencies for basic midwifery practice (2010) as these competencies define the core content of any midwifery education programmer. The education standards were also completed in harmony with midwifery standards of practice and regulation (See web links to these other documents). The Education standards are founded upon the guiding principles and core documents of the ICM that are listed in Key References at the end of this document.