Identifying the priorities for midwifery education across Australia and New Zealand: A Delphi study

Mary Sidebotham, Lois McKellar, Caroline Walters, Andrea Gilkison, Deborah Davis, Jenny Gamble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Problem: In countries where education programmes are assessed as meeting international standards there is limited knowledge about the challenges facing midwifery education. Background/aim: The positive impact of quality midwifery education on maternal and newborn health is acknowledged by the World Health Organisation. However, there is limited research identifying the issues faced in providing quality midwifery education. The aim of this study was to identify the challenges and determine priority projects to strengthen midwifery education across Australia and New Zealand. Methods: A two-round Delphi study with experts in midwifery education was undertaken. Findings: In round one, 85 participants identified an initial 366 issues for midwifery education. Through thematic content analysis these were categorised into 89 statements reflecting five major themes: In round two, 105 midwifery experts from Australia n = 86 (79%) and New Zealand n = 23 (21%) rated the 89 statements in order of priority. Across the combined data (Australia and New Zealand) a total of 19 statements gained consensus of ≥80%. Discussion: Five priority themes were identified including; (1) enabling success of First Peoples/Māori midwifery students; (2) increasing the visibility and influence of midwifery within regulation, accreditation and university governance; (3) determining how best to deliver the clinical practicum component of programmes; (4) reviewing midwifery programmes to enhance design, content and delivery; and (5) ongoing education and support for the midwifery workforce. Conclusion: In Australia and New Zealand, it is imperative that collaborative work is undertaken to design and action identified projects addressing these priorities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-144
Number of pages9
JournalWomen and Birth
Issue number2
Early online date30 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Australian College of Midwives


  • Accreditation
  • Curriculum
  • Education
  • Midwifery
  • Programmes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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