MERAS Quality and Leadership Programme > MERAS Quality & Leadership Programme

Quality and Leadership Programme for Midwives

Click here to download the Quality and Leadership Programme

Click here to download the QLP Brochure

Click here for the QLP Assessment form - Leadership Domain

Click here for the QLP Assessment form - Confident domain


  • The Midwifery Quality and Leadership Programme has been in place since 2005

  • In 2013 the DHB Midwife Leaders undertook a review of the programme, overall there was general support however midwives felt that there was poor alignment between QLP, DHB performance appraisal/review and Midwifery Standards Review, and that duplication of effort acted as a barrier to uptake.

  • DHB Midwife Leaders, NZCOM, MERAS and NZNO representatives decided to undertake a review of the programme to increase alignment and national consistency. In 2015 the new programme was agreed as part of the MECA negotiations


The programme has three domains of practice:

Competent – New graduate, new staff member, return to practice midwife. A midwife who is competent to practice but needs to develop skills and experience to function effectively in the role.

Confident - has the necessary skills and experience to function confidently within her employed practice area. They will have a minimum of 12 months clinical practice experience and will be using evidence informed practice.

Leadership - has significant midwifery experience and is a role model and resource within the maternity service. Takes a lead role in quality improvement, innovation and practice development in their practice area.

Applying for domains

Midwives will be appointed onto the competent domain until completion of the orientation/familiarisation programme.

Midwives may apply for domain progression at any time providing they are able to demonstrate the requirements of the domain. Confident and Leadership domains now require annual revalidation, this occurs at the time of the annual performance review, however some leadership domain a requirements only need 3 year re-submission.

Implementing the programme

The DHBs have agreed in the MECA to implement the programme as described below:

  • The DHB will appoint a Midwife QLP Co-ordinator

  • The QLP will be implemented in a nationally consistent manner

  • Domains will be transportable across DHBs

  • There will be no quotas or built in barriers to prevent midwives progressing to the appropriate domain

  • A local Midwifery Leadership Group including MERAS representatives will be established to monitor uptake, consistency and manage any local implementation difficulties

  • Any structural changes needed in the programme will only be implemented by agreement between DHBs and MERAS.

For the programme to work effectively and efficiently DHB employers must ensure that the following requirements are met:

  • Provide every midwife with a structured orientation/familiarisation programme

  • Provide every midwife with an annual performance appraisal

  • Provide every midwife with the minimum study/professional development leave as agreed in the MECA, including domain leave (1 day for confident and 2 days for leadership per year)

  • Ensure there are QLP assessors available to meet the demand for portfolio assessment within a 6 -8 week timeframe (Where portfolios travel across DHB boundaries for assessment then up to 8 weeks is allowed)