Midwifery in Canada

CMRC is the network of midwifery regulatory bodies in Canada. The duty of regulatory bodies is to protect the public.  Midwives who are registered with their provincial/territorial regulatory authority may use the title Registered Midwife (or Midwife) and are legally permitted to carry out actions that are restricted to midwives through legislation.

Key Principles of Midwifery Care

The key principles of midwifery care in Canada are professional autonomy, partnership, continuity of care provider, informed choice, choice of birth setting, evidence-based practice and collaborative care.

Registered midwives practising in Canada are autonomous health professionals offering high quality primary care to their clients.

Core Competencies for Midwives

The Canadian Competencies for Midwives outline the knowledge and skills expected of an entry-level midwife in Canada. Entry-level midwives are those who have been assessed as eligible to start practising in Canada, after they meet provincial/territorial requirements, in the full scope of practice and without supervision requirements on their registration.

The Canadian Competencies for Midwives are compatible with provincial/territorial competency statements but it does not replace them. Since midwifery in Canada is regulated by province or territory, provincial/territorial competency documents take precedence over this national document and are the ultimate source of information about what a midwife is expected to know and do in any specific province or territory.

Appendix to the Competencies for Midwives

The Appendix to the Canadian Competencies for Midwives is a companion document that expands upon the Primary Care Provider role to outline the entry-level skills & abilities expected of a Canadian midwife. In 2023-2024, the CMRC Competencies Appendix was revised to support greater inclusion and equity for marginalized people including midwifery clients who are Indigenous, racialized, sex or gender-diverse, under-housed, im(migrants), and others. The Appendix can be used by midwives, midwifery students, educators, preceptors, and midwifery regulators. It may serve as an educational tool or to provide guidance in teaching, learning, evaluation self-assessment, and more.

Printable poster (24x36”) available here.
Printable graphic (8.5x11”) available here

Appendix microlesson on Inclusive Language - Working with clients who are gender nonconforming is available here.

Appendix microlesson on Interrupting unconscious bias in midwifery care is available here.

Appendix microlesson on Midwifery care and human rights is available here.

Legal Status and Employment

Links to midwifery laws are listed below under each province and territory. In addition, most Acts and Regulations in Canada can be found at the Canadian Legal Information Institute website. The site is managed by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada and information is in English and in French. CMRC's list of regulatory terms is found here.

British Columbia

Midwifery is regulated in British Columbia under the Health Professions Act [RSBC 1996] Chapter 183, the Midwives Regulation BC Reg 167/2020, and the College Bylaws. Since the implementation of regulation in 1998, all midwives must be registered with the Bristish Columbia College of Nurses & Midwives to be permitted to practice.

Alberta

Midwifery is regulated in Alberta under the Health Professions Act R.S.A.2000, c. H-7 and the Midwives Profession Regulation. To view midwifery laws, go to Alberta Laws. Since the implementation of regulation in 1998, all midwives must be registered with the College of Midwives of Alberta to be permitted to practice.

Saskatchewan

Midwifery is regulated in Saskatchewan under the The Midwifery Act, Chapter M-14.1 and The Midwifery Regulations, The Midwifery Administration Bylaws, and The Midwifery Regulatory Bylaws. To view these laws, go to Saskatchewan Midwifery. Since the implementation of regulation in 2008, all midwives must be registered with the Saskatchewan College of Midwives to be permitted to practice.

Manitoba

Midwifery is regulated in Manitoba under the Midwifery Act C.C.S.M. c. M125 and the Midwifery Regulation, Man. Reg. 68/2000 and the CMM By-Law No. 1. Since the implementation of regulation in 2000, all midwives must be registered with the College of Midwives of Manitoba to be permitted to practice.

Ontario

Midwifery is regulated in Ontario under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 and the Midwifery Act, 1991. In addition, there are specific regulations made under these acts. To access these midwifery laws, go to Ontario e-Laws. Since the implementation of regulation in 1994, all midwives must be registered with the College of Midwives of Ontario to be permitted to practice.

Note: There are exceptions for Aboriginal midwives and healers in the Midwifery Act, 1991 and the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, respectively. These exceptions allow Aboriginal midwives to provide traditional midwifery services to Aboriginal persons or members of an Aboriginal community and to use the title Aboriginal Midwife.

Quebec

Midwifery is regulated in Quebec under the Loi sur les Sages-Femmes, chapter S-0.1, and a number of regulations. For a full list of midwifery laws, go to the OSFQ website.

Since the implementation of regulation in 1999, all midwives must be registered with the Ordre des sages-femmes du Québec (OSFQ) to be permitted to practise.

Nova Scotia

Midwifery is regulated in Nova Scotia under the Midwifery Act and the Midwifery Regulations, N.S. Reg. 58/2009. To access the Act, go to https://nslegislature.ca/sites/default/files/legc/statutes/midwifery.pdf and to access the Regulations, go to https://www.novascotia.ca/just/regulations/regs/midwifery.htm

The Regulated Health Professions Act will eventually replace 21 acts currently in place for self-regulated health professions in the province. Once passed, work on new midwifery regulations will be undertaken.

Since the implementation of regulation in 2009, all midwives must be registered with the Midwifery Regulatory Council of Nova Scotia to be permitted to practise.

New Brunswick

Midwifery is regulated in New Brunswick under the Midwifery Act, Chapter M-11.5 and the new Brunswick Regulation 2010-113. All midwives must be registered with the Midwifery Council of New Brunswick to be permitted to practice.

Northwest Territories

Midwifery is regulated in the Northwest Territories under the Midwifery Profession Act, S.N.W.T. 2006, c.24, and a number of regulations.  

Since the implementation of regulation in 2005, midwives must be registered with the Government of the Northwest Territories, Office of the Registrar, Professional Licensing, in the Department of Health and Social Services to be permitted to practise.

Nunavut

Midwifery is regulated in Nunavut under theMidwifery Profession Act (2009) and regulations. Since the implementation of the regulation in 2011, all midwives must be registered by the Registrar of Health Professions, Government of Nunavut to be permitted to practice.

Prince Edward Island

Midwifery has been regulated in Prince Edward Island since late 2022 under PEI Regulated Health Professions Act RSPEI 1988, c R-10.1 and Midwives Regulations. 

All midwives must be registered with the College of Registered Nurses and Midwives of PEI to be permitted to practice.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Midwifery in Newfoundland and Labrador is governed under the Health Professions Act 2010 and Midwives Regulations under the act.

Midwives must be registered with the Newfoundland and Labrador Council of Health Professionals to be permitted to practice.

Yukon Territory

Midwifery in Yukon is regulated under the Health Professions Act SY 2003, c 24, and the Midwifery Regulation

Since the implementation of the regulation in 2021, midwives must be registered with the Government of Yukon, Professional Licensing to be permitted to practice.