ICM Global Standards, Competencies and Tools


The use of global standards, competencies, tools and their guidelines, ensures that midwives in all countries have effective education, regulation and strong associations, and offers a powerful context for assessing and strengthening U.S. midwifery and fostering a basis for unity among U.S. midwives. ICM has developed various interrelated ICM Core Documents which guide Midwives Associations and their Governments to review and improve on the education and regulation of midwives and midwifery, and enable countries to review their midwifery curricula for the production and retention of a quality midwifery workforce.


Council Delegates at the 2008 meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, voted to update existing, and develop new ICM Core Documents. The work that was accomplished during the 2008-2011 Triennium constituted what has become known as the “Three Pillars” of ICM’s global efforts to strengthen midwifery worldwide in order to provide high quality, evidence-based health services for women, newborns, and childbearing families.

ICM’s Three Pillars are Education, Regulation, and strong Member Associations and are built upon the foundation of updated core competencies. These Three Pillars are interdependent and provide a complete package of information for midwives, policy makers, and governments. The work on the ICM ‘Three Pillars’ was carried out by expert Task Forces that focused on:

1. Updating and expanding the 2002 Essential Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice, and affirming the evidence base
2. Developing Global Standards for Midwifery Education along with Companion Guidelines
3. Developing Global Standards for Midwifery Regulation
4. Strengthening Midwifery Associations


Since the release of these new and updated ICM Global Standards, Competencies and Tools in 2011, NACPM has been collaborating in a facilitated process with the seven U.S. organizations and agencies that hold responsibility for the CNM, CM and CPM credentials to unify and strengthen U.S. midwifery in light of the Global Standards. The collaboration, USMERA (US Midwifery: Education, Regulation and Association), is made up of NACPM, MANA, MEAC, NARM, ACNM (American College of Nurse Midwives), AMCB (American Midwifery Certification Board) and ACME (Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education).
This collaboration met in-person in April 2013 and in April 2014. The facilitation of these meetings has been made possible by a generous grant from the Transforming Birth Fund.

ICM Documents:


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