The first competency based framework in Genetics/Genomics specifically for midwifery education and practice

Emma Tonkin, Heather Skirton, Maggie Kirk

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This paper details a competency framework to help address the need for structured guidance around genetic and genomic education and training for midwives.
A one-day expert panel consensus meeting was convened to review and revise a previously published joint framework for nurses, midwives and health visitors. Fifteen midwives from practice, management, education and policy and three genetic counsellors (two with midwifery backgrounds) attended. An in-depth knowledge of genetics/genomics was not a requirement. Personal narratives covering a range of experiences across the pre- and post-natal periods were used to stimulate discussion and debate. Identified themes were mapped to the original framework to identify gaps and differences. Inclusion of additional themes into the new framework was voted upon.
All original competencies were found to be valid but required amendment in order to focus specifically on the role of the midwife and the needs of the mother, child and wider family. Revisions have resulted in a framework that is more directive and which addresses the time-critical nature of information-giving, decision-making, testing and referral that are crucial components of midwifery practice. Learning outcomes and practice indicators offer educators and trainers a means of developing student/staff knowledge and skills over time and with increasing experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-140
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2018


  • Competency
  • Midwifery
  • Education
  • Genomics


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