The profession of midwifery is regulated in Canada (except in Newfoundland and Labrador; Prince Edward Island, and Yukon Territory). In regulated provinces, provincial and territorial regulatory authorities set the standards for entry into the profession and issue licenses to practice to those eligible.
By law, you can only practice as a midwife in Canada, or use the title “Registered Midwife” if you have been authorized by the provincial or territorial regulatory body where you intend to work.
The Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM) is the national organization representing midwives and the profession of midwifery in Canada. It provides leadership and advocacy for midwifery as a regulated, publicly funded and vital part of the primary maternity care system in all provinces and territories. CAM also promotes the development of the profession in the public interest and contributes the midwifery perspective to the national health policy agenda.
Before you immigrate
There are steps that you can take before you immigrate to improve your chances of practicing your profession in Canada:
- Attend the Know Before You Go Webinar Series to learn more about life in Canada.
- Research how your international qualifications may be viewed in Canada and get a sense of the Canadian labour market.
- Contact the provincial or territorial regulatory body in the area where you intend to settle and work in Canada. Find out the procedure to follow, potential costs, and time required to become registered. Also, ask what steps in the licensing process that you can take before you immigrate.
- Check out the Canadian Midwifery Regulators Council website for internationally-educated midwives. It provides comprehensive information about registering as a midwife in Canada.
- Use the free self assessment tool on the CMRC website to understand the Canadian midwifery profession and what you’re expected to know and do in Canada. The tool outlines the competencies, knowledge and skills that you must have to be eligible to apply for registration and be ready to practice as a midwife in a Canadian province or territory.
- To practice the profession, you need to have advanced English or French (depending on your destination province) language competency. Even if you speak fluent English or French, it’s helpful to improve your language skills. Enroll in language classes while in your home country and continue them after you move to Canada.
- Assess your language skills by taking an online self-assessment on the Canadian Language Benchmarks website.
- Gather and organize your official education, work and identity documents while still in your home country. When contacting your provincial or territorial regulatory body, find out what documents you need to bring for employment purposes, or to continue education. Verify if documents need to be translated. You may need to use a professional translation service in Canada.
- Understand how the midwifery is practiced in Canada and familiarize yourself with the procedures, regulations, and legislation that govern your profession in the province where you will settle.
- Know the professional terminology in Canada and make a list of potential employers.
- Find out how to get a driver’s license in Canada and apply for it as soon as you land. It will be useful to have when you get a job, or even to search for a job.