Midwives in Ontario are regulated by the College of Midwives of Ontario. You cannot practice midwifery, call yourself a ‘midwife’ or hold yourself out to be such unless you are registered with the College.
Midwives in Ontario are primary caregivers. As such, they hold full legal responsibility for their clients and are not supervised by a physician or obstetrician. Midwives in Ontario never work in only one area of client care, such as prenatal or intrapartum care. They are required to provide full service to their clients in all trimesters, throughout labour and birth and for six weeks postpartum. Under normal circumstances, a midwifery client and her newborn do not see any other health care practitioner during this time.
All midwives must attend both home and hospital births. Midwives are required to hold admitting privileges in at least one hospital and to attend a minimum number of both home and hospital births per year in order to maintain their registration.
Midwives in Ontario work as independent practitioners in group practices that are funded by the provincial Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. They are not salaried employees of hospitals, health centres or clinics and do not work shifts. Midwifery practices provide 24 hour on-call service to their clients. This means that every midwife works on call for set periods of time and while on call must be available 24 hours a day.
To be eligible for registration with the College of Midwives of Ontario you must:
Be a graduate of the Ontario Midwifery Education Program (MEP), be a graduate of the International Midwifery Pre-registration Program (IMPP) or be a general registrant in another province of Canada.
– The Ontario Midwifery Education Program (MEP) is a four-year, baccalaureate degree offered at three Ontario universities. For information on the MEP, contact Ryerson University at www.ryerson.ca Laurentian University at www.laurentian.ca or McMaster University at www.mcmaster.ca.
– The International Midwifery Pre-Registration Program (IMPP) is a one-year bridging program offered at Ryerson University. It is designed to offer assessment and upgrading to internationally trained midwives, in order to ensure that they meet the required standards to practice in Ontario. For information on the program, contact www.ryerson.ca/ce/midwife.
– Midwives who are general registrants in another province of Canada where midwifery is regulated may be eligible for reciprocity registration. Please contact the College for more information.
2. Be currently certified in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Obstetrical Emergency Skills (ES), and Neonatal Resuscitation (NRP)
– CPR and ES certification must be within the previous 24 months, NRP certification must be within the previous 12 months. The standard for NRP is the Canadian Paediatric Society, the standard for CPR is BasicLife Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers and standard for ES is the Association of Ontario Midwives’ ES workshop, ALARM, ALSO or MORE OB.
3. Have demonstrated proficiency in either French or English
– Proficiency in either French or English is demonstrated by one of the following: having obtained a midwifery degree in Canada; being registered in another province of Canada in which midwifery is regulated; or passing the Ontario Midwifery Language Proficiency Test (MLPT). The International Midwifery Pre-Registration Program administers the MLPT. For information on the test, please visit www.ryerson.ca/ce/midwife.
4. Be legally entitled to work as a midwife in Canada
– In order to demonstrate entitlement to work in Canada, proof of one of the following is required: Canadian citizenship, landed immigrant status, or an open employment authorization.
5. Have arranged professional liability insurance.