This is a post to give a general overview of applying for registration as a midwife and applying for jobs in New Zealand. I have tried to break it down into bite size chunks.
You won’t be able to do everything in one sitting: more like 5. (If Hercules had been set a paperwork challenge as well as all his others, it may well have been an application from the UK to work as a NZ midwife).
Take heart; it’s a little tedious, and very expensive, but simple. At least hourly cups of strong, builder style tea (and biscuits when a bit disheartened) were necessary but much brain power wasn’t. Just keep chipping away at it all. It took me about two months to get everything together though I was pretty slow about it. If you need motivation see this post and the photos below for all the great things about living in NZ! I suggest doing things in this order:
Find an Agency > Registration with council > Alternate Working Options > Practising Certificate > Working Holiday Visa
Find an Agency:
Agencies are free and helpful. They claim their money from the government once you are working, so its a win-win situation. Tonix was the agency I used and they were very patient with the numerous silly questions I asked (memorably i rang them and said ‘It’s very important I live somewhere within a couple of hours of the beach’. There was a little silence, then ‘Well Ellie, I’m sure that can be arranged…New Zealand is quite a long, thin country, you see, with lots of coast’. I was also always emailing them with questions about applications for all the bits and pieces.They were brilliant.) Before they look for your job, Tonix agency agency will require:
- A copy of the photo page of your passport
- A copy of your qualifications including your NMC statement of entry and PIN card
- A copy of a recent police clearance (take a copy of the one you request for the Midwifery Council…see more about this later)
- A current CV emailed through
- The names and contact details (including phone numbers) of two professional referees. One needs to be a current line manager. They won’t contact your referees without first checking with you first.
Tonix have a good grasp of which hospitals are looking for workers and can give you advice about the type of activities you like to do and NZ towns that might suit you. You can also look at hospital sites yourself of course and apply straight to them. I did a combination of both but in the end it was Tonix who found me the perfect place in New Plymouth.
You have to register with the Midwifery Council of New Zealand. As long as you are currently qualified and up to date, this is an easy thing for them to grant as British Midwives in my experience are trained for a higher workload. They do ask for a huge amount of paperwork.
The main downside to applying for this registration is the cost; it is 1000 NZD, or 500 GBP. However this is a one time cost and you stay registered for the rest of your life. The link you need to use to get the paperwork for the council is here:
You make an account online, make a note of your password and log in details (I would do this on paper somewhere) and then after that send off the information they ask for with the forms they tell you to print. They will ask for:
- A Police report from each country in which you have resided for 12 months or more. I would do this as your first job as it can take some time for the police to get back to you. The link you need is here:
Scroll down and choose the ‘English word’ link and open the file. Print it and send it off; it will cost 45 GBP unless you need it really fast in which case it will be 80 GBP for getting it back in 2 days.
The Police will need these details from you:
’1. Fully completed application form.
2. TWO proofs of your current address. Official correspondence showing your name and address both dated within the last 6 months. These cannot be hand written and envelopes will not be accepted as sufficient evidence. If these are not in English you will also need to provide a translation which may be hand written.
3. Copy of your passport. Clearly showing passport photo, personal information including expiry date, nationality, extension pages if applicable and signature. 4. ONE Recent colour passport photo (Approximately 45mm x 35mm). This should be appropriately endorsed on the back (See page 7). 5. Payment. UK Cheque, UK Postal Order, or Bankers Draft, made payable to ‘HPA’. ‘
The Midwifery Council further need for Registration:
- Evidence of your identity – certified as a true copy. You get this done at a solicitors which cost me around 10 GBP for a few copies of my passport.
- Evidence of current or past registration as a midwife; this is easy, merely a photocopy of your NMC statement of entry and PIN card.
- A Certificate of Good Standing from current registration authority; i.e. you call the NMC and ask them to send a ‘Certificate of Good Standing’ to the Midwifery Council of New Zealand. I think it cost about 30 GBP. The details to contact the NMC are here:
NMC 08:00-18:00 Monday to Friday
General enquiries: 020 7637 7181
Registration enquiries: 020 7333 9333
- A Portfolio and/or detailed curriculum vitae:
For the portfolio I sent my recent student one, which was necessary for me to pass my midwifery degree. I would advise putting a few reflections, your CV, some recent certificates, maybe a few copies of cards from patients (although scribble through any identifying features!) a page on your philosophy as a midwife and anything else that makes you look like a good practitioner in there. It doesn’t have to be huge, just enough to convince them you can work helpfully in their country.
Write a standard Midwifery CV; see the link to mine from the time here. New Zealand hospitals like to know how many babies you have caught. Just give general descriptions about the types of deliveries and work in the pre and post natal areas.
- Medical certificate; you need to ring your GP and ask for a copy of all your inoculations and anything else you think is relevant to be sent to the Midwifery Council of New Zealand. While you are at it I would ask for another copy to be sent to your house so you can photocopy it if its needed for a midwifery job application; they sometimes are and you don’t want more injections than necessary i’m sure. As always, there is a small fee involved. Are you getting the picture by now?
- Two character references; there is a place for your references to write in the Overseas Applicants form which you are filling out. The first reference has to be someone who knows your practice; just ask them to write a few nice things about you and fill out the tiny form (I did this with a colleague in a laundry cupboard as I didn’t want my boss to know just then I was applying – Thanks!) The second has to be someone you have known for two years or more, who is a health care professional or other upstanding member of society like a teacher or bank manager (There is an official list on the form of people who can do this).
- Self Assessment against the Competencies for Entry to the Register.
- Details of convictions
- Details of any mental or physical condition or disability
- Your IELTS result if English is not your first spoken language
Alternate Working Options:
You may want to have a look at trademe.com, which is good for looking for jobs, also healthdownsouth.com, seek.co.nz, or just look through hospital sites for adverts.As I said above though, you don’t really need to unless you want , as agencies are often very good at finding the right posts for people.
Finally there is http://www.themidwiferysanctuary.com/, which is a forum i use for hundreds of Midwifery questions and nearly always get a reply. ?t has a few NZ midwives, and midwives who have emigrated, and they can be very useful for questions about jobs.
This is seperate from registration, and will need to be done either every 4 months, or annually depending on the type you choose. Consider the shorter one at first as hospitals you work at will often pay for you to renew. The first one if you are from overseas is 150 NZD or 75 GBP. The link you need is here: http://www.midwiferycouncil.health.nz/annual-practising-certificates/ As far as I recall this is a very simple process once you have registration, though the cost made me cringe a bit.
Working Holiday Visa:
This is the simplest way of getting into New Zealand to begin with, if you are under 30. It costs 250 NZD or 125 GBP.
I’m not really qualified to advise about other types of visas, but you can ask your agency and use https://www.immigration.govt.nz for more info. There is a visa via sponsorship of an employer which is more permenant; however I believe the working holiday visa is better as you can go to New Zealand and check out one area for a while without being tied to one place initially.
If you have children or are settling more permenantly, ask your agency and hospital when you are offered a job.
Here is the link you need: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/secure/default.htm
?t took 2 weeks for my visa to be approved. You can do the whole thing online and print out your visa.
Apply for 6 months duration; asking for more than this means Immigration New Zealand will ask you to get an expensive medical check which involves a chest x-ray! Also check you spam box. I originally asked for a 12 month working holiday visa and the request for a medical check from the immigration agency went straight to my spam box, so I didn’t see it. It was a big hassle to re-apply for a 6 month visa and it nearly derailed my attempt to get a flight to New Zealand on the 1st January 2012 (brilliant day to fly, quiet and cheap, and what a good thing to be doing on New Years Day…)
You can always apply for alternate visas once in New Zealand, especially if you want to stay with an employer. A further 6 month working holiday visa is apparently very easy to come by. If you have got to this stage you can start looking for cheap flights.
Stand by for posts on:
- Cheap flights as I managed to fly from London to New Plymouth for less than 900 GBP. And that was with a bike + bike tools which weighed 40kg!
- Jobs issues, challenges and benefits.
- Areas of NZ to consider