Returning to Midwifery practice

The HPCA Act requires the Midwifery Council to restrict the issue of an annual practising certificate if there are reasonable grounds to believe the applicant:

  • has not held an annual practising certificate within the three years immediately preceding the date of the application; or
  • has not, within the three years immediately preceding the date of the application, lawfully practised midwifery.

Midwives who have not held a practising certificate in New Zealand for three years or more will need to take part in the Return to Practice Programme.

The components of the programme vary depending on the length of time that an applicant has been away from practice. The required components are a programme of education and supervision of practice.

There are four categories of return to practice.

Those midwives who have not been practised for less than three years are not required to complete return to practise program

Category B

Midwives who have not practised between three to five years.

Category C

Midwives who have not practised between five to ten years.

Category D

Midwives who have not practised for ten or more years but remained in a health care environment.

Category E

Midwives who have not practised for ten or more years and have not remained in the health care environment.

The Council recommend that you read the Return to Practice Policy Document and return to practice information sheet for further information return to practice requirements.

Returning to New Zealand practice

Midwives who have worked overseas and want to re-enter New Zealand practice fall into three categories:

Category A

Midwives who practised midwifery following graduation and have taken a break from New Zealand practice for less than three years and who now wish to re-enter New Zealand midwifery practice after a period of practising overseas.

Category B

Midwives who practised midwifery and have taken a break from New Zealand practice for between three and five years and who now wish to re-enter New Zealand midwifery practice after a period practising overseas.

Category C

Midwives who have been out of New Zealand practice for more than five full years and who now wish to re-enter into New Zealand midwifery practice after a period practising overseas.

To find out more about what a midwife must do to satisfy the Midwifery Council that they can practise in New Zealand download the Councils' policy document for midwives returning to New Zealand after practising overseas.

Regardless of whether you are returning to practice or returning to practise in New Zealand each case is assessed on an individual basis and exemptions from requirements can be sought if you can prove to the Council that you have the required knowledge or skills that the return to practice programme is attempting to address.

To apply to return to practice you will need to discuss how you are going to obtain the required clinical practice experience with a local maternity unit. Once you have a plan then you can make your application to return.

The Council welcomes you back to midwifery practice in New Zealand. Please do not hesitate to contact the staff if you have any questions.