Does your state use US MERA Language in its legislation of the CPM? Are you prepared?

“For the licensure of CPMs who obtain certification after January 1, 2020, in states with new licensure laws, all applicants for licensure will be required to have completed an educational program or pathway accredited by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) and obtained the CPM credential.”

At this time Alabama, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, and South Dakota have passed licensure laws with US MERA language. This means licensure applicants must either have CPM certification by the end of 2019 or attend a MEAC-accredited school. More states are proposing licensure legislation that may also include this language.

What is US MERA Language based on?

In 2011 the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) released Global Standards for Midwifery Education, Regulation, and Association (MERA) providing for the first time guidance for international midwifery. Inspired by the ICM’s global vision for strengthening midwifery, seven U.S. midwifery organizations representing professional associations, education/accreditation, and certification (US MERA) began working together in 2012 to achieve common goals in midwifery that align with the ICM Global Standards.

One of the first projects identified as a priority by the US MERA coalition was building consensus on the legal recognition of all nationally-certified midwives. While midwifery is defined and regulated across all 50 states, the legal status, definitions, regulations, and scopes of practice vary markedly. This creates confusion for policymakers, consumers and insurance companies, and can actually limit services to women.

In 2014, the US MERA coalition created a legislative task force to develop a consensus statement on model midwifery legislation and regulation using the Delphi research method, which is designed to help a diverse group of stakeholders gain consensus about a complex problem.

What does this mean for my school/program/institution?

On January 1, 2020, or thereafter, midwifery programs graduating students to practice midwifery in states using the US MERA language must be accredited by MEAC (or other accrediting agency recognized by the US Department of Education USDE), in order for those students to obtain a license to practice.

“A recent trend is that many individual state authorities are beginning to require or mandate accreditation for certain programs and/or services and this trend is only expected to become more prevalent. Beginning on the road to accreditation now is a valuable way to prepare for a pending state and/or national accreditation mandate.”

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