Midwifery education is the foundation for preparing competent midwives to provide a high standard of safe, evidence-based care for women and their newborns. Global competencies and standards for midwifery education have been defined as benchmarks for establishing quality midwifery education and practice worldwide. However, wide variations in type and nature of midwifery education programs exist.
To explore and discuss the opportunities and challenges of a global quality assurance process as a strategy to promote quality midwifery education.
Accreditation and recognition as two examples of quality assurance processes in education are discussed. A global recognition process, with its opportunities and challenges, is explored from the perspective of four illustrative case studies from Ireland, Kosovo, Latin America and Bangladesh. The discussion highlights that the establishment of a global recognition process may assist in promoting quality of midwifery education programs world-wide, but cannot take the place of formal national accreditation. In addition, a recognition process will not be feasible for many institutions without additional resources, such as financial support or competent evaluators. In order to achieve quality midwifery education through a global recognition process the authors present 5 Essential Challenges for Quality Midwifery Education.
Quality midwifery education is vital for establishing a competent workforce, and improving maternal and newborn health. Defining a global recognition process could be instrumental in moving toward this goal, but dealing with the identified challenges will be essential.