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Pre-registration midwifery education: is ‘cleverness’ the ‘7th C’?

02 April 2019
5 min read
Volume 27 · Issue 4


Pre-registration midwifery education is vocational, requiring the teaching of specific skills and knowledge in preparation for a career as a midwife. In addition to being competent and confident in practice, student midwives are also expected to possess six fundamental values in order to deliver care of the highest quality: care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment—known as the ‘6Cs’.

This article will outline how the University of Northampton's midwifery team and colleagues in Library and Learning Services collaborate to support student midwives in their academic journey to develop sound academic skills, thereby nurturing the 7th C: ‘cleverness’. Thanks to this partnership, students are aided to pass the programme of study with a BSc (Hons) degree and enter the workforce as a committed lifelong learner.

Employers and service users expect midwifery graduates' values and behaviours to align with the values of the NHS Constitution (Department of Health, 2015), with approved education institutions expecting them to meet the stringent academic and professional requirements of their programme of study (UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment, 2018; Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), 2018a). Library and Learning Services at the University of Northampton is a team that helps midwifery students and staff develop digital capabilities, which enhance communication, project management and evaluation (Jisc, 2019). Developing sound academic skills also helps to strengthen what could be called the ‘7th C’: cleverness.

At the University of Northampton, Library and Learning Services support each faculty with a range of teams. The Faculty of Health and Society has a named academic librarian and learning development tutors, who work closely with the midwifery team to design their courses and to support digital capabilities. This approach enables students to reach their full potential and the academic and professional demands of their programme of study. Without timely and relevant support, they may struggle to meet these demands; hence why a structured support system across all 3 years of the programme has been designed, developed and implemented (Figure 1).

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