Unlike allopathic medicine or other professions, there is more that is OLD in midwifery than new. For that reason, I would not favor any sort of on-going continuing ed requirements for midwives. Usually, when a state offers licensure for a profession, they also require continuing ed as a condition of maintaining the license. I don't favor mandatory licensure for midwifery because it is not like other professions.
In other professions, the professional is offering a service, really doing something FOR a client, that the client can't do for himself. In midwifery, we see women attending other women who are basically just doing a biological function. The client is the one DOING it, and she obviously doesn't need a license.
At the same time, midwifery is, by its basic function, a continual education. No two births are exactly alike and a midwife takes away something newly learned from every birth. To mandate that certain topics or skills be learned or relearned is not necessarily useful. Midwifery practices can vary so much based upon the style and beliefs of each midwife and they types of clients that hire her. One size does not fit all.
Wherever continuing ed becomes a requirement, you see big companies step in that organize, arrange and provide the required paperwork for those continuing ed conferences. These organizations are not staffed by people who know the profession, and the types of speakers they get don't necessarily have direct relation to the field of study either. I've seen this in the law, as continuing ed conferences have classes on "ethics", "diversity" "sexual harassment", etc. and darn few on Torts, Contracts or Evidence. The speakers are just that, professional speakers that make the rounds of continuing ed conferences for a living.
I'd prefer to see midwives sharing their experiences and knowledge with one another, being open to interaction at peer review and listening to the concerns and needs of their clients as a way for them to grow in their "profession". Midwifery already has skills classes and academic materials available for those who want or need to learn more in specific areas. These are available through private schools, state midwifery organizations and national organizations, as well as publications like magazines and books.
Terri, owner of Generations - Services for Growing Families. Offering doula services, child birth education, fertility counseling, breastfeeding support, lending library, and a helping hand home birth services.