Midwifery in Canada

CMRC is the network of midwifery regulatory bodies in Canada. With the exception of PEI and Yukon, all provinces and territories in Canada racgulate the practice of midwifery.  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.  

Model of Care

The Canadian midwifery model of care is discussed in detail by the Canadian Association of Midwives. See https://canadianmidwives.org/what-midwife/ Continuity of care, informed choice, evidence-based practice, and client health and wellbeing are particularly important to midwives.

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

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 Canaidan 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. 

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.

British Columbia

Midwifery is regulated in British Columbia under the Health Professions Act [RSBC 1996] Chapter 183, the Midwives Regulation BC Reg 155/2009, and the College Bylaws. To view these documents, go to BC Midwifery Legislation and Professional Regulation. Since the implementation of regulation in January 1998, all midwives must be registered with the College of Midwives of British Columbia to be permitted to practice.

Alberta

Midwifery is regulated in Alberta under the Health Professions Act, R.S.A.2000, c. H-7. To view midwifery laws, go to Alberta Laws. Since the implementation of regulation in July 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 March 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. To view the Act and Regulation, go to Manitoba Midwifery Laws. 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, S.O.1991, c.31; the following regulations: General, O. Reg. 240/94 ; Registration, O. Reg. 867/93; Designated Drugs, O. Reg. 884/93; and Professional Misconduct, O. Reg. 858/93; as well as by the College Bylaws. To access these midwifery laws, go to Ontario e-Laws. Since the implementation of regulation in January 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, 1991and 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 Midwives Act , L.R.Q., chapter S-0.1, and a number of regulations, some of which are:

  • Regulation respecting cases requiring consultation with a physician or transfer of clinical responsibility to a physician, c. S-0.1, r.1
  • Regulation respecting the standards and conditions of practice for conducting home deliveries, c. S-0.1, r.2
  • Regulation respecting the examinations and analyses that a midwife may prescribe, conduct or interpret in the practice of midwifery, c. S-0.1, r.1.1
  • Regulation respecting drugs that a midwife may prescribe or administer in the practice of midwifery, c. S-0.1, r.1.2
  • Regulation respecting diploma and training equivalence standards for the issue of permits by the Ordre des sages-femmes du Quebec, c. C-26, r.155.3.1.

To access the Midwifery Act in English, go to Midwives Act. 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

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

New Brunswick

The Midwifery Act was proclaimed in New Brunswick in 2010. At the present time, midwives offer their services in the Fredericton region. Registered midwives working in New Brunswick are regulated by the Midwifery Council of New Brunswick. 

Northwest Territories

Midwifery is regulated in the Northwest Territories under theMidwifery Profession Act, S.N.W.T. 2006, c.24, and the following regulations:Midwifery Profession General Regulations, N.W.T. Reg. 002-2005;Prescription and Regulation of Drugs and other Substances Regulations, N.W.T. Reg. 003-2005; andScreening and Diagnostic Tests Regulations, N.W.T. Reg. 004-2005

Since the implementation of regulation in 2005, midwives must be registered with Northwest Territories' Health Professional Licensing Department to be permitted to practise.

Nunavut

Midwifery is regulated in Nunavut under theMidwifery Profession Act and regulations. Since the implementation of the regulation in 2011, all midwives must be registered by the Nunavut Registration Committee to be permitted to practice.

Prince Edward Island

Midwifery is not yet regulated in Prince Edward Island. In 2019, the PEI Midwives Association submitted an application to the province to have regulations for midwifery put in place under the new PEI Regulationed Health Professions Act.

Newfoundland and Labrador

On June 24, 2010, the Health Professions Act was assented to. Midwifery is governed under this act in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Yukon Territory

The target date for midwifery regulation in the territory is late 2019.