Returning to midwifery

Ready to be someone’s first hello once again? Your experience and skills are invaluable to us, and we’re here to help you return to midwifery with confidence. 

Michaela Mecuri, bank staff midwife 

"The best part of returning to practice was being able to work with and support women and their families at this moment in their lives."

Read Michaela's return to practice story.

Benefits of returning

Few other roles will give you the same kind of fulfilment as midwifery – think how many new parents you’ve already helped? But it’s not just emotionally rewarding, there are plenty of practical benefits too, including some you may not have experienced before:  

  • One of the most generous pension schemes in the UK.  
  • Flexible working and opportunities to work part-time, helping to create a balance that suits you. Childcare support may also be available but it varies between NHS trusts. 
  • At least 27 days holiday a year plus public holidays, and a standard working week of 37.5 hours. 
  • Additional support for professional development, helping you to feel confidence in your skills and achieve your career goals.   
  • A greater emphasis on working in multidisciplinary teams, allowing you to work with experts from many different departments.  

How to get started

Our Return to Practice (RTP) programmes are designed to make returning to midwifery as easy as possible – whether you’ve been away for six months or six years.  

It’s not a problem if you’re no longer a registered midwife – returning to practice is really straightforward, and here’s how you can do it:     


You might be able to re-register with the NMC without doing a course or test.  You'll need:

  • 450 registered practice hours over the last three years or 750 hours over the last five, including any practice hours gained on the COVID-19 temporary register
  • 35 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) in the last three years
  • to provide three character references  

You can apply directly through the NMC website or if you want to use hours worked through the COVID-19 temporary register, you'll need to email the NMC to request a paper copy of the readmission pack.

Further information on requirements and process is also available on the NMC website.

Test of Competence (ToC) 

If you’ve been out of midwifery for a while, the Test of Competence is a great way to update your knowledge. 

The test is made up of two parts:  

How to apply for the test 

You can apply through the NMC website, where you’ll also find lots of preparation materials and essential reading to help you revise for the test.  

Financial support for the test  

We’ll cover the cost of you taking a Test of Competence, but you may have to pay upfront and claim it back once you’re registered and working with us.  

If you’d like to know more, you can drop us an email and we’ll put you in touch with a member of our team who can answer any questions you may have. 

Return to practice course 

A return to practice course will refresh your skills, leaving you ready to return to midwifery with confidence. It involves a combination of classroom and placement-based learning, so you can get stuck in right from the start. You’ll also be assigned a personal mentor to support you through your studies.  

The course takes between 3 and 12 months to complete, depending on how long you’ve been out of practice.  

Financial support for your studies 

You won’t just be emotionally supported by our team, you’ll be financially supported too. If you apply directly to a university, NHS Health Education England (HEE) will pay for your course and placement fees. You’ll also be given £1,000 to help cover any childcare, travel and book costs. 

If you apply through an NHS organisation, your course and placement fees will be covered and you’ll either receive a salary or £1,000 to help cover your costs. 

While completing your clinical placement, you’ll be given supernumerary status, meaning you’ll be an addition to existing staff, giving you the time and space you need to learn.  

Finding a course 

There are courses available across the country, and you can browse them on our course finder

If you’d like to find out more about a specific course, you’ll find the university’s contact details on the course page.   

There are also opportunities for you to earn while you study. To search for a salaried return to practice course, visit NHS Jobs and search ‘return to practice’  

We’re here to help 

Returning to midwifery won’t just make a difference to other people’s lives, it’ll make a big difference to yours too – and we’re here to make it as easy as possible. No matter which route you choose, we can guide you through the process. If you’d like to discuss your options, simply request a call-back and a member of our team will give you a call.   

Want to discuss your return to midwifery?

Sign up to request a call back from one of our team.

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