McMaster University’s Midwifery Education Program has another first to add to its accomplishments. It is the inaugural program to receive accreditation from the Canadian Association for Midwifery Education.

“Health professional degree programs have an accreditation process, with external visitors reviewing a program to ensure it meets nationally-agreed upon standards, but that process didn’t exist in midwifery until now,” said Liz Darling, assistant dean of the midwifery program at McMaster.

“Accreditation helps ensure programs are delivering high-quality education and producing graduates who are ready for entry into practice.”

Darling says it was satisfying to see the program fully accredited for the next five years without any concerns raised by the external team.

“We expected that we would be accredited, but reflecting back on the work, it’s nice to see confirmation of what a good job we are doing and that we are meeting all of the standards,” Darling said. “Moving forward, as accreditation becomes that standard in Canada, it will be expected that programs are recognized with that standard.”

Darling acknowledged the hard work of the program’s faculty and staff to prepare for the accreditation visit, particularly the leadership of Anne Malott in writing the report for the accreditors.

There are currently six Canadian midwifery programs at universities in Ontario, B.C., Alberta and Quebec, with a seventh coming soon to Manitoba.

Founded in 1993, McMaster is the financial lead of a consortium with Laurentian and Ryerson universities to offer the midwifery education program in Ontario. McMaster was also the first midwifery program of its kind in the country.

Today, the McMaster program has about 120 undergraduate students at any given time.

Looking to the future, the program’s faculty members and staff are working to establish a master’s degree in midwifery within the next three to five years. Darling noted there are no midwifery graduate programs in Canada yet. 

The team at McMaster is also busy developing a new strategic plan based on the three pillars of engagement, innovation and diversity. This includes a focus on attracting more diverse midwifery students and faculty members.

For more information on the McMaster’s midwifery program, visit https://midwifery.mcmaster.ca/.