Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The Jewel in the Crown: a Case Study of the New Zealand College of Midwives Standards Review Process in Wellington

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posted on 2021-11-03, 01:39 authored by Skinner, Joan

In 1990 New Zealand midwives regained the legal right to practice autonomously Large numbers of midwives exited the hospital system to provide continuity of care both in the community and in the hospital. These midwives practise independently and are funded by the state to do so. The New Zealand College of Midwives has developed and promoted a midwifery model of partnership, incorporating this model into its Code of Ethics and Standards for Practice. In its commitment both to professional development and to accountability, and in partnership with consumers of maternity care, the College developed the Midwifery Standards Review Process. This process involves the midwife in an annual review of her practice. The midwife gathers and collates her statistics, and measures her practice against the NZCOM Standards for Practice. Consumer feedback forms are sent directly to the review co-ordinator. All this information is presented to a panel consisting of two midwifery peers and two consumer representatives. Together with the midwife they discuss her year's work and develop goals for the coming year. The purpose of the review is to provide the midwife with a supportive, educative environment in which to reflect on her practice while at the same time providing an avenue for professional accountability. This study describes the Midwives Standards Review Process in detail using a case study approach. It finds that the process is a unique and innovative addition to the ways peer review and reflective practice can be provided. It identifies the issues of quality assurance, reflective practice, supervision and competence as being of most relevance. In particular it develops the ideas of how reflective practice can be enhanced within a quality assurance model. It recommends that further research is undertaken to ascertain whether midwives using the process find it useful, in particular how it has assisted them in their professional development. Further research may also increase the body of knowledge on the nature of reflective practice and how it is best facilitated.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Arts (Applied)

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health


Rowley, Maralyn