Is the Midwifery Bridge Certificate required for all CPMs?
No. It is not required by NARM and does not affect your certification status. Several states now require the Midwifery Bridge Certificate or MEAC education for licensure. The requirement is also being added in upcoming legislation for other states.
Why was the Midwifery Bridge Certificate created?
Midwifery practice is still illegal in some states; several states have been arresting midwives or issuing Cease & Desist orders to CPMs for attending home births without a license, despite attempts to pass licensure laws in recent years. Opposition to the licensure of CPMs has centered on the lack of a requirement for an accredited education. Work among the seven US MERA organizations in 2015 created a joint statement of support for licensure legislation on the condition that it include a requirement for a graduation from a MEAC accredited program or the Midwifery Bridge Certificate.
What is required for a CPM to obtain the Midwifery Bridge Certificate?
The Midwifery Bridge certificate requires 50 accredited continuing education hours within the five-year period prior to application. The continuing education hours must be in specific subjects. See more information on the link to the approved courses.
Identical courses (such as NRP, ALSO, STABLE, or BEST), may be counted only once toward the hours required for the MBC. However, identical or similar topics taught by different instructors may count as the total number of CEUs granted. For example, a person may obtain 2 hours of credit at a conference for attending a workshop on GBS, and also may count 1.5 hours for an on-line course on GBS, provided they are taught by different instructors at different times.
CEUs for the Midwifery Bridge Certificate taught by midwifery associations or non-accredited educational programs will not count unless accredited as CEUs by a third party.
The CPM must submit the Midwifery Bridge Certificate application, copies of the CEU certificates, and the $200 fee.
Can I use the Midwifery Bridge Certificate in states that require a MEAC education?
No. the bridge certificate is not a substitute for a MEAC education. You must meet the requirements for licensure that are set by the state where you are seeking licensure. If the law accepts the MBC for licensure, then you can submit that. If the law requires a state approved or MEAC accredited school, then you will need to do that.
What if I am not yet a CPM but want to get the Midwifery Bridge Certificate?
You cannot apply for the certificate until you are a CPM, but you may gain the CEU credit while still a student, as long as all credits are obtained within five years of applying for the certificate.
What if I am a Licensed Midwife but not a CPM?
All applicants for the Midwifery Bridge Certificate must hold the CPM credential. Licensed Midwives may apply for the CPM under the category “Licensed Midwife in Approved States” by filling out some brief paperwork and submitting it with a copy of your current license. Most Licensed Midwives have already passed the NARM Examination in order to be licensed, but if you were licensed very early in the process and have not taken the NARM Examination, you would have to also pass the exam. See: State Licensed Midwife.
Is the Midwifery Bridge Certificate the same as recertification?
No. Those are two separate processes. CPMs must recertify every three years, regardless of obtaining the Midwifery Bridge Certificate. But, the same CEUs may count toward both processes as long as they meet the time frame for each process. Keep copies of your CEU certificates to submit with each application – NARM will not track these for you.
Can I count CEUs in breastfeeding, nutrition, herbs/homeopathy, waterbirth, etc for the MBC?
No, these may be used for the CPM recertification but do not meet the identified areas that address emergency skills and the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) competencies for the Midwifery Bridge Certificate.
How long does the Midwifery Bridge Certificate last? Does it have to be renewed?
The Midwifery Bridge Certificate is a one-time application. There are no current plans to require a renewal. A state licensing program, however, could require currency of CEUs for their license or their license renewal.