Mentoring is a powerful leadership skill that ICM believes can support and encourage reflective practice, quality improvement, life-long learning and teamwork amongst midwives. After consultation with member associations in 2018, ICM adopted the following definition of mentoring:
A reciprocal learning relationship in which a mentor and mentee agree to a partnership where they work together toward achievement of mutually defined goals that will develop a mentee’s skills, abilities, knowledge and/or thinking.
Mentoring is a process that aligns well with midwifery practice and approaches to care, and the mentoring relationship reflects principles found in ICM’s Philosophy and Model of Midwifery Care and International Code of Ethics: respect, trust, equity, shared control, self-determination, participation and partnership. The same principles are found in all of ICM’s Core Documents – Global Standards for Midwifery Education and Regulation, Essential Competencies for Midwifery Practice, Bill of Rights for Women and Midwives and various Position Statements.
ICM, with the support of UNFPA, developed a mentoring guide in 2019, and this year, we will create an online mentoring programme on ICM’s forthcoming eLearning platform. The programme has been designed for midwives who wish to become mentors, and can be used by Midwives Associations, midwifery schools and institutions, and in the workplaces of midwives. Together, the mentoring guide and programme will empower midwives to create a nurturing environment for others to learn and be confident in their midwifery practice and to role model respectful, high quality leadership.