Equivalency Applicants

IMPORTANT: Updates to CPM Eligibility Requirements

NARM is pleased to announce the results of the CPM Eligibility Review Process. Read More >

Life as a CPM


A Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) is a knowledgeable, skilled and professional independent midwifery practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and is qualified to provide the Midwives Model of Care. The CPM is the only midwifery credential that requires knowledge about and experience in out-of-hospital settings.

Most CPMs own or work in private home or birth center based practices throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Providing continuous care for women throughout their childbearing cycle, CPMs generally carry a relatively low client load (averaging 3-6 births per month) which allows for more personalized and comprehensive care than typical obstetrical practices. The scope of practice of the CPM is derived from the NARM Job Analysis, state laws and regulations, and individual practice guidelines developed by each midwife according to her skills and knowledge.

Based on the MANA Core Competencies, the guiding principles of the practice of CPMs are to work with women to promote a healthy pregnancy, and provide education to help her make informed decisions about her own care. In partnership with their clients they carefully monitor the progress of the pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum period and recommend appropriate management if complications arise, collaborating with other healthcare providers when necessary. The key elements of this education, monitoring, and decision making process are based on Evidence-Based Practice refers to a thoughtful integration of the best available evidence, coupled with clinical expertise. As such it enables midwives and their clients to address healthcare questions with an evaluative and qualitative approach. Evidence based decisions flow from a process that includes the assessment of current and past research, clinical guidelines, and other information resources in order to determine the best course of care.Evidenced-Based Practice and Informed Consent refers to the rights of healthcare consumers to be fully informed about testing or treatment options so that they can then make an educated “choice” among those options.Informed Consent.


How to Become a CPM — Equivalency

The Certified Professional Midwife was developed to provide competency-based certification for midwives who are primarily apprentice-trained in out of hospital birth. The CPM credential allows multiple routes of entry to the profession in order to encourage innovation in education, adaptability to evolving best practices of the profession, diversity in the pool of credentialed midwives and broad accessibility to the profession.The competency-based model for certification assures well-educated, skilled and competent providers.

Aspiring Midwives can:

  • Apprentice with a qualified midwife, completing an Entry-Level Portfolio Evalution Process (PEP).
  • Attend a midwifery program or school.
    • If the school is accredited by MEAC, graduation qualifies you for the NARM written exam.
    • If the school or program is not MEAC accredited, you must complete the Entry-Level Portfolio Evaluation Process.

Experienced Midwives can:

  • Complete a Portfolio Evaluation Process Application under the Experienced Midwife category. Applications are evaluated on a case by case basis. This application route will be discontinued December 31, 2019.
  • Complete an Application for Certification under the category of Licensed Midwife in an Approved State.
  • Complete a Portfolio Evaluation Process Application under the Internationally Educated Midwife category.
  • Complete an Application for Certification Examination under the categories of certified as a CNM/CM or Legally Recognized in the UK.

Choose Your Route to Certification

The first step toward becoming a CPM is the validation of midwifery education. NARM recognizes that many applicants have significant didactic or clinical experience in addition to their apprenticeship that will meet some or all of the knowledge and skills required for entry level practice. Each of the following categories have been approved by NARM for meeting the requirements for validation of midwifery education.

After selecting the route that fits your educational route, please review the additional requirements and documentation necessary to apply to take the NARM written exam.

Please note the new application and testing fees went into effect in January 2013.  All applicants, no matter what route of entry, are responsible for submitting the current fees with their application.

State Info:

Certified Professional Midwives are regulated on a state by state basis. To find out the specific information for the states that regulate CPMs, please refer to the charts linked here:
Legal Status of Direct Entry Midwifery
Direct Entry Midwifery State Laws and Regulations

Contact Us:

NARM Phone and
Fax Number

For all Departments

NARM General Information

Debbie Pulley
5257 Rosestone Dr.
Lilburn, GA 30047

NARM Applications and Testing Department

PO Box 420
Summertown, TN 38483

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