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MIDW300 Clinical Midwifery Practice 4: Caring for Babies OR MIDW315 Midwifery Professional Practice 5

Unit rationale, description and aim

This final practicum unit is a capstone unit where the student integrates previous learning in preparation for transition to graduate level midwifery practice. Students will complete practice experience requirements such as the Midwifery Practice Experience including the NMBA Competency Standards for the Midwife, the Continuity of Care Experiences. Students will be required to apply their theoretical knowledge during their clinical experience, demonstrating comprehensive and thorough care for the women, babies and families for whom they are caring. This unit is required by students to assist them, through an intensive period of supervised practice, to integrate and consolidate the midwifery knowledge, attitudes and skills required for professional practice.

The aim of this final Clinical Midwifery Practice unit is to build on students' previous and current learning including anatomy and physiological processes of childbearing to further contextualise 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.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Apply legal and ethical frameworks, organisational policies, procedures and standards to safe, care of women and their babies and families across the childbearing continuumGC1, GC2, GC4, GC6, GC9, GC11, GC12
LO2Establish, maintain and conclude relationships that promote dignity, respect, cultural safety; and effective provision of woman-centred careGC1, GC2, GC4, GC5, GC6, GC11
LO3Demonstrate initiative and collaborative clinical reasoning skills and decision making in evidence-based assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of care in complex midwifery practice situationsGC1, GC2, GC4, GC8, GC11, GC12
LO4Demonstrate achievement of professional midwifery standards at the graduate level and practice experience requirementsGC1, GC2, GC3, GC8, GC11, GC12

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; 1.4

LO1; LO2; LO3; LO4

Standard 2: Engages in professional relationships and respectful partnerships  

2.1; 2.2; 2.3; 2.4; 2.5; 2.6; 2.7 

LO1; LO2; LO3

Standard 3: Demonstrates the capability and accountability for midwifery practice  

3.1; 3.2; 3.3; 3.4; 3.5; 3.6; 3.7 

LO1; LO2; LO3; LO4

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; 5.3; 5.4 


Standard 6: Provides safety and quality in midwifery practice  

6.2; 6.3


Standard 7: Evaluates outcomes to improve midwifery practice  

7.1; 7.2; 7.3 



Topics will include: 

Legal and professional practice 

  • Scope of practice 
  • NMBA Competency Standards 
  • Documentation and use of health informatics and health technologies 
  • Medication knowledge and administration 
  • Med+Safe medication calculations
  • Assertive communication skills

Midwifery knowledge and practice 

  • Review of midwifery skills for complex and emergency situations 
  • Clinical reasoning and decision making 
  • Prioritising and time management skills 

Midwifery as primary health care  

  • Consultation and collaboration 
  • Establishing and maintaining professional relationships with other health care providers 

Reflective and ethical practice 

  • Self-evaluation 
  • Self-care 
  • Professional learning 
  • Evidence-based practice 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Modes of delivery in this unit include learner-centred resource sessions, clinical demonstrations, simulated practice, online classrooms, supervised clinical practice and completion of the Continuity of Care Experience (CCE). Consistent with adult learning principles, the teaching and learning strategies used within these modes of delivery will facilitate students’ integration and consolidation of the midwifery knowledge, attitudes and skills required for professional practice.  These strategies will also support students’ achievement of the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of this 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 exiting university need significant life-long learning skills to deliver sound, ongoing, evidence-based graduate practice as a member of the professional workforce. Students must demonstrate increasing reflective capacity to identify what is being done well and what requires additional work in progressing toward required learning outcomes. Located in the third year of the programme, this clinical unit assists students to link theory with its application and to build life-long learning skills. Resource sessions convey content and central principles while clinical demonstrations, simulations and supervised clinical practice extend students’ self-reliance and critical reflection in practice. The supervised clinical practicum of 320 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. The final professional midwifery portfolio showcases the student’s learning experiences (clinical and CCE) across the continuum of the course in a professional manner by ensuring documentation meets the professional requirements for practice experiences. Students must achieve a pass grade in both assessment items to pass this unit. 

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

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

On-campus Practice Competency 

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


LO1, LO3, LO4

Professional Midwifery Portfolio  

Enables students in this capstone unit to showcase their clinical and CCE experiences across the continuum of the course, ensuring that documentation meets the professional and legal requirements for practice. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Representative texts and references

Australian College of Midwives [ACM]. (2021). National Midwifery Guidelines for Consultation and Referral (4th ed.). Australian College of Midwives.

Macdonald, S. & Johnson, G. (Eds). (2017). Mayes’ Midwifery: A Textbook for Midwives (15th ed.). Elsevier.

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia [NMBA] (2018). Midwife Standards for Practice. Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

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

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

Reuwer, P., Bruinse, H., & Franx, A. (2015). Proactive Support of Labour: The Challenge of Normal Childbirth (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press.

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.

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