Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)®
Certified Professional Midwives are skilled professionals who provide the CPM Model of Care (based on the Midwives Model of Care™) to women and families in a variety of settings, including birth centers and homes. Preparation to become a CPM involves specialized, competency-based education programs and risk assessment training. The CPM is the only midwifery credential that requires knowledge about and experience in out-of-hospital settings.
The Certified Professional Midwife credential requires all candidates demonstrate competency in both the didactic information and clinical experience components. The didactic component must include education in a program accredited by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) or American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB), or completion of North American Registry of Midwives Portfolio Evaluation Process (NARM PEP), a competency-based education program. Each candidate must also complete a clinical component that spans at least two years. The average apprenticeship includes didactic and clinical training under the supervision of one or more Registered Preceptors, and typically lasts three to five years.
Competency-based education is based on the testing and documentation of knowledge, skills and abilities 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 Midwife 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.
North American Registry of Midwives (NARM)
Created in 1987 by the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), NARM is a certifying body whose function is to develop and maintain certification standards for the Certified Professional Midwife credential. The NARM certification program provides oversight for periodic job analysis updates, the key to maintaining a psychometrically sound certification credential, and includes the NARM Written Examination, administration of the certification application process, and skills assessment. Candidates who meet rigorous educational and credentialing standards are awarded the Certified Professional Midwife credential. Mandatory CPM recertification occurs every three years.
The CPM credential as the basis for licensure
States utilize 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 use the CPM certification in their regulatory 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; and
- 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 NARM Written Examination, to the North American Registry of Midwives.
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