Monday, 5 March 2012


Hi everyone my name is Fiona Coffey I am a Student Practice Facilitator (SPF)/Lecturer in the School of Midwifery based in the Capital. I am engaging with the course towards the end of my maternity leave after having my second gorgeous son, this has renewed my empathy with students who also juggle their competing personal aspirations with everyday life and study (time is a precious commodity). Engaging with my profession as a consumer has strengthened my perspective and passion for the role of midwives in our communities and in turn my part in ensuring that graduates are well prepared to enter this workforce.
As an SPF a significant part of my role is pastoral care and within the blended delivery model of the distance midwifery curriculum I feel like a bit of a personal trainer trying to help my group keep engaged and on track. The student group I am focusing on for the purpose of this course is the return to practice midwife.  This person is a midwife who no longer meets the recertification programme requirements for a license to practice and have been instructed by the midwifery council to undertake a return to practice programme. Within this group I am particularly interested in the midwife who has had an extended break from practice and has never participated in the midwifery standards review process.  These learners are almost certainly women who would be middle aged or older.  It is likely that their undergraduate study may have been completed through a hospital based training scheme rather than through an academic institution graduating with a diploma rather than a degree. Formal academic work is likely to be a daunting prospect. Flexible learning is important to assist midwives to remain embedded in their communities. New Zealand has a shortage of midwives especially in rural areas and we need to find ways to facilitate our dormant workforce to return.   I would like to develop a module of a course focused on midwifery standards review  that is inclusive of  flexible learning pedagogy. Midwifery standards review is cyclic licencing requirement which demonstrates professional development ongoing in line with the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 
I look forward to learning and engaging with you all throughout the progression of the Flexible Learning course.


  1. Hello Fee What a wonderful description of your work and interest in flexible learning. You have identified a group of learners who are becoming increasingly common - people who are making a change in their working lives. I tend to count motherhood as working. :) Also, professionals who need to update their skills. Your post illustrates the importance of acknowledging the different requirements that people have for study and the diversity in their learning pathways.

  2. Thanks yes motherhood is definitely working!