Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


BIOL121 Human Biological Science 1 AND (MIDW127 Foundations in Midwifery OR MIDW111 Midwifery Professional Practice 1: Foundations in Midwifery Knowledge and Practice )

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit provides opportunities for students to integrate theoretical and practical knowledge in simulation laboratories and experience the second of six units which include supervised clinical practice. Foundation midwifery practice skills will be developed and extended through scenario based learning in the laboratory. Additionally, students will continue to participate in and learn from the Continuity of Care Experience (CCE). This unit is required by students to assist them to develop knowledge and skills regarding a woman-centred approach to care in midwifery. The aim of this Clinical 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 - relate legal and ethical frameworks, policies and procedures to planning and provision of safe evidence-based care of women and their babies across the maternity care continuum; (GA3) 

LO2 - apply knowledge of underlying anatomy and physiology using developing midwifery skills in assessment of women and babies within a safe environment; (GA5) 

LO3 - apply a woman-centred approach and effective communication skills in establishing, maintaining and concluding relationships with women during their childbearing journey; (GA9) 

LO4 - demonstrate collaborative practice skills within the maternity care team and community agencies within their scope of practice; (GA2, GA7)

LO5 - demonstrate reflective learning within a professional portfolio to evaluate effective learning and self-care strategies for themselves and others. (GA4, GA10) 

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.

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

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 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.

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; 1.5; 1.6

LO1; LO2; LO3

Standard 2: Engages in professional relationships and respectful partnerships  

2.1; 2.2; 2.3; 2.7; 2.8

LO1; LO3; LO4

Standard 3: Demonstrates the capability and accountability for midwifery practice  

3.1; 3.2; 3.5; 3.8 

LO1; LO4; LO5

Standard 4: Undertakes comprehensive assessments  

4.1; 4.2; 4.3; 4.4

LO2; LO3 

Standard 5: Develops plans for midwifery practice  

5.1; 5.2 

LO2; LO3; LO4

Standard 6: Provides safety and quality in midwifery practice  

6.2; 6.3; 6.4

LO3; LO4; LO5 

Standard 7: Evaluates outcomes to improve midwifery practice  

7.1;7.2; 7.3 

LO2; LO5


Topics will include: 

Legal and professional practice 

  • Scope of practice 
  • Informed consent 
  • Documentation and use of health informatics and health technology  
  • Medication knowledge and administration  
  • Med+Safe medication calculations
  • 'Assertive communication skills

 Midwifery knowledge and practice 

  • Assessment  
  • Revise interviewing and history taking techniques  
  • Review abdominal examination 
  • Ongoing woman and foetal wellbeing assessment  
  • Introduction to early labour care 
  • Introduction to postnatal assessment of mother and baby 
  • Infection prevention skills 
  • Insertion of indwelling catheter
  • Removal of indwelling catheter 
  • Aseptic technique 
  • Setting-up for procedures 
  • Gowning and gloving 
  • Personal protective equipment 
  • Disposal of clinical waste 
  • Labour and birth care 
  • Care of the woman and her unborn baby 
  • Supporting a woman and her birth companion in early labour 
  • Non-pharmacological therapies  
  • Postnatal care 
  • Assessment and care of the well mother and baby 
  • Assisting with infant feeding   
  • Postnatal hygiene for the mother and baby  
  • Medication administration 
  • Oral medications 
  • IM, SC and IV medication administration  
  • Inhalation 
  • Fluid balance  
  • Drug calculations 
  • Procedures 
  • Venepuncture 
  • Neonatal screening 
  • Removal of IV canulae 

 Midwifery as primary health care  

  • Health education 
  • Referral to community support networks 
  • Cultural safety 

 Reflective and ethical practice 

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

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Modes of delivery in this unit include group learning activities such as skill demonstrations, simulated practice, online classroom, supervised clinical practice, participation in the Continuity of Care Experience (CCE) and self-directed study.  

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 and include hands-on methods and other Aboriginal ways of learning. 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 undertaking a tertiary qualification need skills to assist them in managing their individual learning. Feedback and effective self-reflection are 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 unit assists students to link theory with its application and to build life-long learning skills. 

Group learning activities are utilised to convey content and central principles while laboratories and simulation deliver interactive learning sessions which assist students to apply theory to clinical practice and build self-reflection skills. The supervised clinical practicum of 80 hours 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 simulated experience.  Development of a  professional midwifery portfolio will allow the students to showcase their learning experiences (clinical and 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 grade 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.  

In order to pass this unit, students are required to

  • attend 100% of laboratory sessions
  • complete the medication quiz
  • submit all required placement documentation by the due date, 5 days after the completion of clinical placement.


The assessment tasks for this unit are designed for students to demonstrate their achievement of each learning outcome.

Mandatory Documentation for Clinical Placement

To ascertain what mandatory documentation is required, please consult the Work Integrated Learning (WIL) website to assess pre-placement requirements

Mandatory documentation should then be uploaded to the student InPlace record by the required due date. This is to meet ACU and Health Care Facility requirements. Submission instructions and the due date for midwifery requirements can also be found on the above link.

If students are unable to meet the requirements of the unit, they are advised to consider applying for “Re- credit of Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) and Refund of Fees in Special Circumstances”

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 behaviour, communication skills and safe and effective implementation of midwifery skills and knowledge.


LO1, LO2 

GA3, GA5 

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 

GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9, GA10

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. 

Leap, N., & Hunter, B. (2022). Supporting Women for Labour and Birth: A Thoughtful Guide (2nd ed.). Routledge. 

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. 

Tollefson, J. (2022) Clinical Psychomotor Skills: Assessment Tools for Nurses (8th ed.). Cengage Learning. 

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