Certified Professional Midwives
Providing the Midwives Model of Care to women and families in your community.
Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)
Certified Professional Midwives are skilled professionals who provide the Midwives Model of Care to women and families in a variety of settings, including birth centers, homes and hospitals. Preparation to become a CPM involves specialized, competency-based education programs and risk assessment training, that requires out-of-hospital clinical experience.
The Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) credential requires that all candidates demonstrate successful mastery of both the didactic information and clinical experience components. The didactic component must include either education in a program accredited by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) or ACNM Certification Council (ACC), or completion of PEP, a competency-based education program. Each candidate must also complete a clinical component that is at least one year in length and equivalent to 1350 contact hours under the supervision of one or more approved preceptors.
Competency-based education is based on the testing and documentation of skills that are relevant to real-life job conditions, as determined by psychometric research within the profession. The current CPM competency-based education program is based on a national job analysis that surveyed the largest number of professionals ever examined in any study of midwives. The Certified Professional Midwives’ credentialing process was evaluated by independent researchers at Ohio State University as a credential that exemplified the established standards for educational and psychological testing, as determined by the American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, and the National Council of Measurement in Education.
The CPM credential as the basis for licensure
States are beginning to make use of the CPM credential in the state regulatory process because this credential is legally defensible and psychometrically sound. In addition to significant cost reductions, states which have used the CPM certification in their regulation process have also found that it:
- Eliminates state exposure to legal liability
- Reduces regulatory administrative tasks and staff time
- Eliminates costs associated with creating and maintaining a psychometrically valid examination
- Provides a streamlined mechanism for licensure and re-licensure
Using the CPM as the basis for licensure shifts the responsibility and liability for all aspects of certification, including the ongoing psychometric evaluation of the written examination, to the North American Registry of Midwives.
North American Registry of Midwives (NARM)
Created in 1987 by the Midwives Alliance of North America, the North American Registry of Midwives is an international certifying body whose function is to develop and maintain certification standards for the Certified Professional Midwife credential. The certification program includes providing oversight for regular job analysis updates, the key to maintaining a psychometrically sound certification credential. It also includes the NARM Written Examination, administration of the application process, and skills assessment. Those candidates who meet rigorous educational and credentialing standards are awarded the Certified Professional Midwife credential. Recertification every three years is required of all CPMs.
The Midwives Model of Care is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes.
The Midwives Model of Care includes:
- Monitoring the physical, psychological, and social well being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle;
- Providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support;
- Minimizing technological interventions; and
- Identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention. The application of this woman-centered model of care has been proven to reduce the incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section.
© May 1996. Midwifery Task Force. All Rights Reserved.