Download a PDF of the Fact sheet: Safety and quality guidelines for privately practicing midwives (51.4 KB,PDF)
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) carries out functions as set by the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law). The NMBA regulates the practice of nursing and midwifery in Australia, and one of its key roles is to protect the public. The NMBA does this by developing registration standards, professional codes, guidelines and standards for practice which together establish the requirements for the professional and safe practice of nurses and midwives in Australia.
The Safety and quality guidelines for privately practising midwives (the guidelines) was published on the NMBA website on 1 February 2016 and comes into effect on 1 January 2017. The existing Safety and quality framework for privately practising midwives attending homebirths will end on 31 December 2016.
Section 284 of the National Law gives privately practising midwives (PPMs) providing homebirth services an exemption from the NMBA’s professional indemnity insurance (PII) requirement set by section 129 of the National Law. The exemption has been extended on two occasions and is currently in place until 31 December 2019.
Section 284(c)(ii) states:
The existing Safety and quality framework for privately practising midwives attending homebirths was developed in 2011 and established the requirements which PPMs providing homebirth services must meet to be exempt from holding PII for intrapartum care.
The NMBA has developed the guidelines after undertaking an extensive consultation of the existing Safety and quality framework for privately practising midwives attending homebirths.
The following questions answer common queries that you may have about transitioning from the Safety and quality framework for privately practising midwives attending homebirths to the Safety and quality guidelines for privately practising midwives.
The guidelines replace the existing framework and set out:
1Sections 129 and 284 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law as in force in each state and territory
You need to familiarise yourself with the guidelines before 1 January 2017.
During the transition period (1 February 2016 to 31 December 2016), we encourage you to begin reflecting on your practice using the guidelines and to undertake any activities that will help you address any identified areas of learning.
The key changes to the guidelines are: