Professional organizations and regulatory bodies for midwives, nurses and obstetricians/gynecologists develop standard-setting documents that describe the codes of conduct for the health professionals they represent. These standards in turn inform pre-service training guidelines and curricula.
However, it is unknown to what extent these standard-setting documents explicitly mention respectful maternity care (RMC) principles as a part of the professional standards for conduct and practice for frontline maternity care providers.
To explore this question, the Maternal Health Task Force is conducting a systematic review of professional codes of conduct and standard-setting documents put forth by national and global professional associations of frontline health care cadres providing maternity care. The objectives of the project are to:
- Systematically review the current professional codes of conduct and standard-setting documents articulated by national and global professional associations to describe and compare the content relevant to RMC
- Identify areas of opportunity for improving existing standards and aligning national practice with global standards by strengthening the inclusion of RMC principles across professional standards that influence training and education for midwives, nurses and obstetricians/gynecologists
- Make recommendations for strengthening the RMC component in professional standards for frontline health workers who provide maternity care
The ultimate goal of the project is to inform efforts to improve RMC as a key dimension of maternity care quality for women around the world.