The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (the NMBA) have released an advance copy of the “Code of Conduct for Midwives” (the Code), which is due to take effect from 1 March 2018. It is intended to replace the previous “Code of Professional Conduct for Midwives in Australia (2008)”.
The Code reflects current midwifery practice and sets out the legal requirements, professional behaviour and conduct expectations for midwives in all practice settings in Australia1. In particular, the Code acknowledges that midwifery practice settings extend to working in non-clinical relationships and in a variety of other settings, including paid and unpaid work.
The Code was developed on evidence-based practice and has been categorised into seven principles, each with a supporting values statement and grouped into four domains.
The four domains are to:
- practise legally (principle 1: legal compliance)
- practise safely, effectively and collaboratively (principle 2: woman-centre practice and principle 3: cultural practice and respectful relationships)
- act with professional integrity (principle 4: professional behaviour, principle 5: teaching, supervising and assessing and principle 6: research in health)
- promote health and wellbeing (principle 7: health and wellbeing).
There is a specific focus in the Code on engaging with women in a culturally safe and respectful way, with the aim of making the health system accessible for all and free from racism and inequity. There is also a section on bullying and harassment with a clear message that such behaviour will not be accepted and with a zero tolerance policy2.
All midwives should take the opportunity to review the Code and familiarise themselves with the expectations for practice as set out by the NMBA.
You can follow the link below for a list of the current professional standards that apply to midwives in Australia.
Please contact the Claims & Legal Services department at MIGA if you have any queries in relation to the operation of the Code or its impact on your practice.
¹ Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, Code of conduct for midwives (2018) – Introduction
² Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, Code of conduct for nurses and Code of conduct for midwives – Fact sheet (September 2017)
Code of ethics for midwives
Review the current professional standards that apply to midwives in Australia