Working together to implement a Pre-Qualifying Skills Passport in Wales: Report of a pilot project
Midwives are required to undertake a wide range of hands-on skills. Immediately upon qualification, they will be expected to use these skills safely and effectively as part of their practice. Therefore, student midwives must be supported to develop competence and confidence in such skills. Currently, many practical midwifery skills are not specifically identified in the
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has stipulated a series of rules, standards and guidelines to underpin and regulate midwifery practice in the UK (NMC, 2012; 2015). These guidelines set out the context for midwifery practice and focus primarily on what a midwife can, cannot, should or must do. The NMC also sets out a range of competencies and essential skills clusters to be achieved by midwifery students during their education programme for entry onto the professional register (NMC, 2008; 2009). The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (2001), in its subject benchmark statements for health-care programmes, sets out threshold standards against which higher education institutions are expected to benchmark programmes of midwifery education.
Together, these documents provide a map of the boundaries and values of midwifery practice and midwifery education. However, among the broad statements of knowledge, skills, values, behaviour and practice parameters that are outlined in them, none of them seem to distinguish definitively what are the most essential hands-on competencies required of a midwife at the point of registration.
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