The CPM Credential

Shelia-WatsonThe CPM credential was developed by NARM in collaboration with the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC), Citizens for Midwifery (a consumer-based group) and diverse stakeholders from across the United States. The credential validates the knowledge, skills and abilities vital to responsible midwifery practice and reflects and preserves the essential nature of midwifery care. The CPM credential is unique among maternity care providers in the United States as it requires training and experience in out-of hospital birth. The CPM credential allows multiple routes of entry to the profession to encourage innovation in education, adaptability to evolving best practices of the profession, diversity in the pool of credentialed midwives and broad accessibility to the profession. The competency-based model for certification assures well-educated, skilled and competent providers.

Qualifications for national certification for the CPM were implemented in 1994 by the North American Registry of Midwives. Qualifications are based on periodic surveys of practicing midwives (task analysis) to determine what midwives need to know and be able to do. This process, including the task analysis, is mandated by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) which accredits national health credentials in the U.S., including the CPM, CNM and CM. NCCA is the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), formerly the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA). The mission of ICE is to promote excellence in competency assurance for practitioners in all occupations and professions.

The CPM credential requires that all candidates demonstrate successful mastery of both didactic and clinical knowledge and skills. Currently, routes to the CPM credential include graduation from an education program accredited by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council or the ACNM Division of Accreditation, or completion of a Portfolio Evaluation Process (PEP), an organized framework to guide and evaluate students who undertake individualized study. Other routes to the credential include current legal recognition to practice in the United Kingdom, legal recognition in a state previously evaluated for educational equivalency, and comparable international training. All CPM candidates are required to demonstrate acquisition of the required knowledge and skills and to have performed competently as primary midwife under supervision. Certification is renewed every three years, and all CPMs must obtain continuing education and participate in peer review for recertification. In addition, NARM requires that each CPM have written practice guidelines, a process for informed disclosure and consent with clients, including a HIPAA privacy policy, and that the CPM participates in a one-time cultural competency course for certification or recertification. Evidence of ongoing continuing education is required to maintain the CPM credential.

For more information about the CPM credential, visit:

Back to Who Are CPMs