Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit supports the student's transition from the disciplines of nursing or paramedicine into the midwifery profession by providing the opportunity for students to integrate theoretical and practical knowledge in simulation laboratories and supervised clinical practice. Foundational midwifery practice skills will be developed and extended through scenario-based learning in the health simulation centre followed by a period of supervised clinical midwifery practice. Continuity of Care Experiences (CCE) will commence. This unit is required by students to assist them to develop skills to support women during labour and birth and the immediate period following birth, in collaboration with midwives and the health care team.

The aim of this Introduction to Midwifery Practice unit is to provide the foundations on which clinical assessments are based, build on earlier learning about the anatomy and the physiological processes of childbearing, and model the way in which students will contextualize their theoretical knowledge through clinical practice.

We recognise that people who access maternity care may have diverse gender identities, that those who do can experience marginalisation and oppression, and that using appropriate terminology can help with these community members’ recognition and visibility, acknowledge the variety of pregnancy and birth experiences people may have, and respect individuals’ preferences. To reflect this, terms such as ‘pregnant person’, ‘birthing person’, ‘childbearing people’, ‘parent’ and ‘chestfeeding’ may be used in the midwifery courses at ACU in addition to ‘woman’, ‘mother’, ‘maternity’, ‘maternal’ and ‘breastfeeding’, which are used not to exclude those who do not identify as a woman, but in recognition that women continue to be marginalised and oppressed in many places around the world and to respect their own individual preferences.  

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - demonstrate a woman-centred approach and effective communication skills in establishing, maintaining and concluding relationships with women during their childbearing journey within a multidisciplinary team; (GA5, GA9) 

LO2 - apply legal and ethical frameworks, policies and procedures to safe care of women and their babies across the maternity care continuum; (GA1, GA3) 

LO3 - apply knowledge of underlying anatomy and physiology in comprehensive assessment of women and babies across maternity care; (GA4) 

LO4 - assess, plan, document, provide and evaluate safe, woman-centred, evidence-based midwifery care in a range of settings; (GA1) 

LO5 - present a personal e-portfolio, demonstrating development towards the NMBA Midwifery Standards for Practice using examples of skill development and midwifery practice in a range of situations. (GA5) 

Graduate attributes

Each unit in your course contributes in some way to the development of the ACU Graduate Attributes which you should demonstrate by the time you complete your course. All Australian universities have their expected graduate attributes. ACU’s Graduate Attributes have a greater emphasis on ethical behaviour and community responsibility than those of many other universities. All of your units will enable you to develop some attributes.

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

NMBA Midwife Standards for Practice

NMBA (2018) Midwife Standards for Practice developed in this unit are:

Standard/Attributes/CriteriaLearning Outcomes

Standard 1: Promotes health and wellbeing through evidence-based midwifery practice 

1.1; 1.2; 1.3, 1.4; 1.6 

LO1; LO4 

Standard 2: Engages in professional relationships and respectful partnerships  

2.1; 2.2; 2.7;  

LO1; LO4 

Standard 3: Demonstrates the capability and accountability for midwifery practice  

3.1; 3.2 

LO2; LO5 

Standard 4: Undertakes comprehensive assessments  

4.1; 4.2; 4.3; 4.4 

LO1; LO3; LO4 

Standard 5: Develops plans for midwifery practice  

5.1; 5.2; 5.3; 5.4 

LO1; LO4 

Standard 6: Provides safety and quality in midwifery practice  

6.2; 6.3 

LO1; LO4 

Standard 7: Evaluates outcomes to improve midwifery practice  

7.1; 7.2 



Topics will include: 

Legal and professional practice 

  • Scope of practice 
  • Assertive communication skills
  • Documentation and use of health informatics and health technology 
  • Medication knowledge and administration 
  • Introduction to course requirements including Community Engagement (CE), course experiences and the Continuity of Care Experiences (CCE) 
  • Behavioural expectations 
  • Documentation 
  • Confidentiality and informed consent 
  • Scope of practice 
  • Professional boundaries 

Midwifery knowledge and practice 

  • Assessment  
  • Revise interviewing and history taking techniques in relation to midwifery practice  
  • Antenatal assessment including abdominal examination 
  • Ongoing woman and fetal wellbeing assessment 
  • Introduction to early labour assessment 
  • Introduction to postnatal assessment of mother and baby 
  • Labour and birth care 
  • Care of the woman and her unborn baby  
  • Supporting a woman and her birth companions in early labour 
  • Non-pharmacological therapies 
  • Placenta  
  • Postnatal care 
  • Promoting bonding and establishing breastfeeding 
  • Assessment and care of the well mother and baby 
  • Introduction to the Continuity of Care Experience (CCE) 
  • Expectations 
  • Resources  
  • Documentation 
  • Confidentiality  
  • Scope of practice 
  • Professional boundaries 

 Midwifery as primary health care  

  • Health education and promotion 
  • Referral to community support networks 

Reflective and ethical practice 

  • Maintaining a professional e-portfolio 
  • Reflective practice 
  • Identifying and responding to own and others’ learning needs 
  • Self-care in midwifery 
  • Evidence-based practice 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Modes of delivery in this unit include an intensive block immediately prior to semester commencement, followed by learner-centred resource sessions, clinical demonstrations, simulated practice, online classrooms, supervised clinical practice and participation in the Continuity of Care Experience (CCE). Consistent with adult learning principles, the teaching and learning strategies used within these modes of delivery will provide students with foundational knowledge and skills relevant to professional midwifery practice. These strategies will also support students in meeting the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit and the broader course learning outcomes. Learning and teaching strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively with peers.  Scenario-based learning, case-based learning, problem-based learning and inquiry-based learning are all used to support the development of students' independent learning ability.

Students entering university need significant support to transition into a learning and teaching environment where they are required to drive their own learning. To guide students in their learning, feedback is required to identify what is being done well, what requires additional work and to identify progress toward required learning outcomes. Located in the first year of the programme, this clinical practice unit includes significant face-to-face teaching hours to assist students in linking midwifery theory with practice. Learner-centred resource sessions are utilised to convey content and central principles while clinical demonstrations deliver interactive learning sessions. These sessions include formative feedback to build foundational tertiary study skills while also providing an opportunity to establish group-work and community learning skills. Online materials are introduced to provide students with a foundation for ongoing, self-directed, self-motivated, off-campus study. The supervised clinical practicum of 160 hours in relevant health care setting provides a safe environment where students can provide assisted woman-centred care essential for successful graduate practice.   

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures consistent with University assessment requirements will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes. 

The on-campus assessment will provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate developed skills in the safety of a simulation experience. The development of a professional midwifery portfolio will allow the students to showcase their learning experiences, inclusive of the Continuity of Care Experience (CCE) in a professional manner ensuring that documentation meets the professional legal requirements for practice experiences.  

Students must achieve a pass in both assessments to pass this unit.  

These assessments are required to build student knowledge and skills which, by the conclusion of this program, will enable the student to graduate as a safe and effective midwife. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

On-campus Competency Assessments 

Enables students to demonstrate competency in professional behavour, communication skills and safe and effective implementation of midwifery skills and knowledge. 


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA9

Professional Midwifery Portfolio  

Enables students to showcase their clinical experiences in a professional manner, inclusive of the Continuity of Care Experience, ensuring that documentation meets the professional and legal requirements for practice. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5 

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA9

Representative texts and references

Cusack, L., & Smith, M. (2019). Portfolios for Nursing, Midwifery and other Health Professions (4th ed.) Elsevier.

Bryant, B., Knights, K., Rowland, A., & Darroch, S. (2018). Pharmacology for Health Professionals (5th ed.). Elsevier. 

Johnson, R., & Taylor, W., De-Vitry Smith, S., Bayes, S. (2018). Skills for Midwifery Practice Australian & New Zealand Edition (1st ed.). Elsevier. 

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia [NMBA]. (2013). Code of ethics for midwives. International Confederation of Midwives. 

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia [NMBA]. (2018). Code of conduct for midwives. Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. 

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia [NMBA]. (2018). Midwife standards for practice. Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. 

Page, L., & McCandlish, R. (2006). The New Midwifery: Science and Sensitivity in Practice (2nd ed.). Churchill Livingstone.  

Pairman, S., Tracey, S., Dahlen, H., & Dixon, L. (2018). Midwifery: Preparation for Practice (4th ed.). Elsevier. 

Taylor, B. (2010). Reflective Practice for Healthcare Professionals: A Practical Guide (3rd ed.). Open University Press.  

Wylie, L. & Bryce, H. (2016) The Midwives' Guide to Key Medical Conditions. (2nd ed.). Elsevier.

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs