for Midwives Practicing in Newfoundland and Labrador

Midwives are legislated under the Newfoundland and Labrador Health 
Professions Act (NLHPA, 2010), hereafter referred to as the Act. The 
Newfoundland and Labrador Council of Health Professionals (NLCHP)is 
responsible for accepting and investigating written complaints under Part 
V, sections 35-56 of the Act. Midwives must be aware of the right of 
clients to make a complaint or allegation, the process for investigating 
the complaint and the resources available to them in responding to the 
complaint. The person against whom a complaint is made is referred to as 
the respondent. The full process for investigation of an allegation is 
laid out in the Policy Manual of the NLCHP (2013). When appropriate, the 
Registrar will attempt to settle a complaint by Alternate Dispute 
Resolution (ADR). If not, the complaint/allegation will be referred to the 
Complaints Authorization Committee which determines whether the allegation 
should be referred to the Quality Assurance Committee, or to the 
Disciplinary Panel and the Adjudication Tributional process. Midwives are 
represented on all committees and panels related to the disciplinary 

A midwife may appeal the conclusions and penalties, if any, of the 
Disciplinary Panel, or the Adjudication Tribunal. In cases referred to the 
Disciplinary Panel, or Adjudication Tribunal, she/he may be represented by 
legal counsel.

Good standing: A registrant of the NLCHP is considered to be of 
good standing with the professional regulatory body when:

a. The registrant's registration is not suspended, restricted or 
surrendered in accordance with the Act,
b. The registrant is not currently the subject of a finding of conduct 
deserving of sanction in accordance with the Act,
c. The registrant's registration to practice is not under reprimand, 
restriction, limit or other condition established under the Act.

 Conduct Deserving of Sanction

The following are general definitions of conduct deserving of sanction. 
These relate to all health professions regulated by the NLCHP. However, 
professional judgments are based on the documents and guidelines specific 
to the midwifery profession and found in the documents of both the NLCHP 
and the College of Midwives of Newfoundland and Labrador (CMNL).

a. Professional Misconduct: Conduct by a midwife while 
directly engaged in her/his practice of work, which contravenes the Code 
of Ethics of the CMNL, or that which contravenes regulations or by-laws of 
the midwifery profession established under the Act. For example: failing to
 meet the practice standards of the midwifery profession, failing to obtain 
consent, failing to maintain confidentiality, failing to  maintain 
documentation and proper records, engaging in a sexual relationship  with a 
client, or a client's partner, engagin in verbal, physical, psychological, or 
sexually abusive behaviour towards a client, bullying between professionals, 
or professional misrepresentation.

b. Unprofessional Conduct: Conduct by a midwife that 
occurs while directly or indirectly engaged in midwifery practice that may 
be detrimental to the best interests of clients or the public, or may harm 
the standing of other midwives or the midwifery profession. For example: a 
conviction under the Criminal Code of Canada and/or conduct/behaviour 
resulting from impairment.

c. Professional Incompetence: Conduct that displays a 
lack of knowledge, skill or professional competency in midwifery practice. 
It is that which displays a disregard for clients or is detrimental to the 
best interests of the clients. For example: failure to maintain 
professional competency requirements, failure to seek consultation and 
undertake transfer of care when appropriate for a woman and/or baby, acts 
of negligence such as leaving a woman in active labour without the care of 
an appropriate registered professional, failure to meet with and assess a 
new mother and baby according to the Standards for Midwifery Practice or 
engaging in practice outside one's knowledge or skill level.

d. Conduct Unbecoming of a Health Professional: 
Conduct by a midwife outside her/his midwifery practice, such that it 
harms or tends to harm the standing of other midwives or brings the 
midwifery profession into disrepute. For example: conviction under the 
Criminal Code of Canada or engaging in conduct/behaviour that is regarded 
by the profession as disgraceful, dishonorable or unprofessional.

e. Incapacity or Unfitness to Practice as a Midwife: 
Conduct by a midwife who is impaired such that the midwife is unable or 
unfit to carry out her/his professional responsibilities.

f. Acting in Breach of the Act, the Regulations or By-laws:
Conduct by a midwife that is in breach of the Act, the regulations or the 
by-laws of the NLCHP and/or acting in breach of the CMNL defined Code of 
Ethics, Standards for Midwifery Practice, Competencies for Midwifery Practice 
or CMNL By-laws.

Impaired or Impairment: A condition or circumstance 
which compromises professional judgment and work effectiveness. Impairment 
is often a result of complex stressors related to emotional health, mental 
health, personal relationships, family relationships, physical health, 
financial difficulties, legal difficulties, substance abuse, employment 
stressors and burnout. (Reamer, 2009). The Social Work Ethics Casebook: 
Cases and Commentary pp. 87-88, 121-122. Washington, DC: NASW (Press). 

This guideline has been adpted from the Professional Review of Section V 
of the Health Professions Act: Policy Manual (NLCHP, 2013). 

				November 2014/Revised March 2015

 Atlantic Centre of Excellence for Women's Health 

     "Want to Know More about Midwives?" booklet.
Web site ACEWH