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Women Birth. 2012 Sep;25(3):122-7. doi: 10.1016/j.wombi.2011.07.149.

Developing a Core Competency Model and Educational Framework for Primary Maternity Services: a national consensus approach.

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Centre for Midwifery, Child and Family Health, Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, University of Technology, Sydney, PO Box 123, Broadway, Sydney 2007, Australia.



An appropriately educated and competent workforce is crucial to an effective health care system. The National Health Workforce Taskforce (now Health Workforce Australia) and the Maternity Services Inter-Jurisdictional Committee funded a project to develop Core Competencies and Educational Framework for Primary Maternity Services in Australia. These competencies recognise the interdisciplinary nature of maternity care in Australia where care is provided by general practitioners, obstetricians and midwives as well as other professionals.


Key stakeholders from professional organisations and providers of services related to maternity care and consumers of services.


A national consensus approach was undertaken using consultation processes with a Steering Committee, a wider Reference Group and public consultation.


A national Core Competencies and Educational Framework for Primary Maternity Services in Australia was developed through an iterative process with a range of key stakeholders. There are a number of strategies that may assist in the integration of these into primary maternity service provider professional groups' education and practice.


The Core Competencies and Educational Framework are based on an interprofessional approach to learning and primary maternity service practice. They have sought to value professional expertise and stimulate awareness and respect for the roles of all primary maternity service providers. The competencies and framework described in this paper are now a critical component of Australian maternity services as they are included in actions in the newly released National Maternity Services Plan and thus have relevance for all providers of Australian maternity services.

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