RCM Networks

Explore the RCM's comprehensive member network of midwives, MSWs, student midwives and other experts

The RCM supports and facilitates several networks. These groups are defined either by the membership category of their participants, by their professional role or their area of expertise.

Each network is accountable and required to work towards the RCM's strategic goals on behalf of our members. Network participants may include other stakeholders and their scope can be UK wide, or specific to particular countries or regions within it.

Please refer to the list below for more information on the RCM's current member networks, including what they do, how you can be involved and who you can contact for more details.

This network is open to RCM members who are directors of midwifery or heads of midwifery in England.

Their objectives are to ensure that:

  1. DOMS/HOMS are well informed about RCM initiatives, campaigns and priorities
  2. the RCM's work is informed by the experience and expertise of DOMS/HOMS
  3. RCM responds to the needs of DOMS/HOMS as RCM members
  4. there is a forum for networking, peer support and information sharing for DOMS and HOMS across England, and that 
  5. relevant contributions, presentations and discussions from those in the wider NHS and beyond are distributed to DOMS/HOMS

The DOMS/HOMS network meets four times a year – twice in London and twice in the north of England.

The network invites consultant midwives and lead midwife educators to join them to form a wider Leaders Forum twice a year.

There is also a closed Yahoo group for this network, so information can be shared between meetings. 

At one meeting each year, network members are encouraged to bring aspiring DOMS/HOMS along, as part of their own development.

The network is led by the RCM CEO Gill Walton and administered by Mandie Lockwood. Please contact Mandie for more information.

The First Five Years Forum is a network for midwives in Scotland who are in the early stages of their career.

The network was funded through the RCM business planning process for 2018, so that it could provide travel and accommodation for network members, as well as as refreshments for the three planned meetings each year.

RCM advertised the network through its membership and social media and invited applications from midwives all over Scotland, who had been qualified from for less than three years. The RCM Scotland team chose 23 midwives to join the network, and they met for the first time in April 2018, followed by subsequent meetings in June and October that year.

The network's 23 member midwives are based all over Scotland, including remote and rural areas such as the Western Isles and Shetland, working in both community and hospital settings.

At the network's first meeting, members were asked to put themselves forward to be the chair, co chair and secretary of the network and the Terms of Reference were agreed.

The network has decided to focus its first year of activities on developing some Scottish guidance on positive first year support for newly qualified midwives. This was felt to be necessary as preceptorship programmes across Scotland have been quite adhoc and patchy, given that the service has only begun employing a significant number of newly qualified midwives in recent years. Members of the network all felt that their first year support could have been improved.

The network's aims are:

  1. to provide an informal leadership development opportunity for early career midwives in Scotland, enabling them to build a peer support network and have exposure to national midwifery leaders and initiatives
  2. to build engagement of early career midwives in Scotland, and
  3. to provide the RCM Scotland team with a reference network for testing new resources and planning member engagement approaches

Members join the network for a two-year fixed period. After that time, new applications will be sought. Those members who are still less than five years post-qualification will be able to reapply for the network. Those who are five years post-qualification at that point, will leave the network.

Network membership will therefore be ‘rolling’, with a mix of longer-standing members and new members coming onboard each year.

Members of the FFYF are engaging their peers and managers in the work that they are currently undertaking around first year support programmes.

The network is facilitated by Mary Ross-Davie, Country Director, with organisational support provided by Angela Boyle, RCM Organiser.

Find out more here or email Angela for more information.

The RCM’s Global Advisory Group provides strategic direction and advice to inform the RCM’s global work. Membership of the network is drawn from our members, our staff and other key players and organisations in the field of global maternal and newborn health, as well as international development. The network meets three times a year and is coordinated by the RCM’s Global Professional Advisor, Joy Kemp.

For more information about the network, visit the Global page or contact the Global Team for more information about the network.

The Lead Midwives Scotland Group is a long established network facilitated by the RCM in Scotland.

The network includes senior midwives across Scotland including all heads of midwifery, professors of midwifery, lead midwives for education, consultant midwives and senior midwives from national organisations including NHS Education for Scotland and the Scottish Government. The network also includes the Director of the RCM in Scotland and the two National Officers for the RCM.

The objectives of the network are to provide an opportunity, online and in person, for senior midwives to share information and good practice. The network also provides the opportunity for senior midwives to build relationships and support networks with each other.

The network also acts as a sounding board for many stakeholders wishing to disseminate information, seek opinions and boost engagement on a range of maternity issues. Occasionally the LMSG will develop specific shared work on a particular topic.

The LMSG generally meets quarterly with an additional think tank day once a year, when the LMSG is joined by RCM stewards to discuss and plan around a particular area of interest.

The membership of the network is determined by role. As someone takes on a new senior role, they are invited to join the LMSG.

Chair of the LMSG is currently Justine Craig, HOM in Tayside and Co-Chair is Geraldine Butcher, Consultant Midwife in Ayrshire and Arran.

The RCM’s key contact is Sharon Allison who provides the secretariat for the network.

For more information, please email Sharon Allison.

This network consists of elected RCM workplace representatives (stewards, health and safety representatives, learning representatives), branch officers (chairperson, secretary, treasurer) and MSW advocates.

Activists are elected by members of the RCM branch or workplace. The network is supported at UK, national, regional and branch levels by RCM staff, other activists and members.

The training of RCM activists is provided by the RCM. The development and delivery of training is the responsibility of the Activist Training Steering Group. Membership of this group includes an RCM Activist and a TUC representative.

For more information, visit our RCM Activists section.

More details on training and development can be obtained by emailing the workplace representatives team. RCM activists can also contact their regional/national officer or organiser for advice and support.

The RCM Board is responsible for the overall direction and control of the organisation. This includes ensuring that the RCM is efficient, effective, accountable, properly managed and supervised. The Board provides long-term vision, ensures clarity of purpose by stating our mission and setting strategic goals and objectives, and also protects the reputation and values of the RCM. It directs and supports its CEO in leading the RCM to the Board’s vision. The Board is guardian of the RCM’s assets and is responsible for ensuring that legal and regulatory requirements are met.

All members of the RCM Board are practising midwives who have been elected to the Board by members of the RCM. Maternity support workers are also eligible to apply for a position on the Board.

The Board meets regularly throughout each year and also conducts business electronically. Three members of the RCM Board are trustees of The Royal College of Midwives Trust and also serve on board committees. One member of the Board is a director of RCM Trust Trading Company Ltd.

The RCM Fellowship Scheme recognises individuals who provide exceptional leadership and deliver excellence in practice, education or research. RCM midwife members can apply to be considered for a fellowship and, if successful, can use their fellowship status to display their support for the RCM.

Becoming an RCM fellow is an opportunity for experienced midwives to showcase their expertise and promote the profession of midwifery. As an RCM fellow, midwives receive professional recognition which enhances their career prospects.

Fellows also have the opportunity to contribute to strategic working groups and influence national policy. The RCM encourages its fellows to present and share good practice at conferences and events and to engage with opinion leaders and policy makers.

Fellows can use FRCM after their name and join a network of FRCM alumni who are invited to the annual Zepherina Veitch Memorial Lecture as a VIP of the RCM, along with the Chief Executive, the Honorary Fellows and the RCM President.

The FRCM network aims to support and encourage sharing of knowledge, innovation and practice issues. There is an electronic networking group for FRCMs which enables them to share their expertise with their peers. Successful applicants also receive a certificate and a distinctive medal.

Please email the Fellowship team for further details or visit our RCM Fellows page. You can meet the current RCM Fellows here.

This is a new network for RCM members who are midwives working in perinatal mental health (PMH) or who have an interest in developing perinatal mental health services in their area.

During the summer of 2018 we invited applications for the 25 places and were impressed by the volume and high standard of applications. Successful candidates have now been informed and our first meeting was held in September 2018. The Terms of reference were agreed at this meeting. 

The aims and purpose of the network are:

1. to provide an informal leadership development opportunity for midwives in Scotland, enabling them to build a peer support and sharing network and have exposure, learning and updates on national and RCM work surrounding the future of PMH services for women and families

2. to provide the RCM Scotland team with a reference network to inform and share new resources and plan member engagement approaches

Midwives can join the network for a fixed two-year period, with a commitment to attend for three one-day meetings each year. The first meeting was in September 2018 and the next two subsequent meetings will be held on 5th December 2018 and 7th February 2019. The RCM will pay for reasonable travel expenses and overnight accommodation in Edinburgh for members who would need to travel for more than two hours to attend. Each meeting will be from 10am to 4pm.  

The network will be chaired by Emma Currer, National Officer and is facilitated by Angela Boyle, RCM organiser.

Contact Angela for more information about this network.

Northern Ireland has a Strategic Midwifery Advisory Group (SMAG) which meets four times a year and is facilitated by the RCM. It consists of HOMS and the lead midwives from the service, the university LMEs and other midwives in strategic positions in Northern Ireland including the DHSSPS Adviser, the Midwife Consultant at the Public Health Agency and the Midwife Senior Professional Officer at the Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council (NIPEC).

Every midwife holding a senior strategic position in Northern Ireland is a member of the RCM and therefore a member of the network.

The network's objectives are to provide a direct interface between the RCM and midwives in senior and strategic positions in Northern Ireland, offering a forum for networking and information exchange.

In addition to being a sounding board for the NI Director, the network also acts as a very rapid network for the dissemination and cascading of information throughout both the maternity service and the wider midwifery ‘family’ in Northern Ireland. It is also used to recruit volunteers to represent the RCM within various organisations and working groups.

There are frequent presentations from guest speakers, who communicate and discuss new policy developments in Northern Ireland, and this in turn helps inform the thinking of midwives with a remit for policy development.

The network meets four times at year in the RCM NI Office.

Between meetings, the network communicates via email, and is a very useful resource for newly appointed HOMS and other midwives in senior positions.

There are occasional joint meetings of SMAG and the RCM stewards in NI to discuss matters of mutual concern, e.g. changes to pension provisions or aspects of employment law, e.g. the Disability Discrimination Act.

The network's main contacts are Karen Murray, RCM NI Director, and Caroline Keown, Network Chair. For more information, please email Anne-Marie O'Neill for more information.

The RCM Student Midwives Forum (SMF) debates and discusses issues affecting student midwives at local and national levels, to inform the RCM's work on behalf of student midwife members.

The SMF currently meets four times a year at RCM headquarters in central London. The membership is made up of four England representatives and two from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Representatives are elected by fellow student midwife members in the country they are studying in.

The network is facilitated by Vicky Richards, National Officer for Wales, and supported by other members of RCM staff. 

Further information can be found on our Student Midwives Forum page, or you can send us an email.

This network was launched in October 2017 at an event in Stirling, jointly supported by NHS Education for Scotland, NHS Highland and the Royal College of Midwives.

Jaki Lambert, HoM in Highland, set up the network and is the Network Chair.

Its aims and purpose are:

1. to provide a peer support and sharing network for midwives already providing or those interested in providing care in midwife-led care settings in Scotland – this includes midwives working in alongside and freestanding midwife-led units and midwives that provide home birth care

2. to provide a network where midwives from across Scotland can coordinate and share developments in order to continually drive quality improvement, share good practice and ensure consistency between different services

This network has members based all over Scotland, including in remote and rural areas. Therefore, all meetings will be set up to ensure that video conferencing is possible to reduce the need for travel.

The first meeting took place on 5th September 2018 and the next two subsequent meetings will be held on 27th November 2018 and 21st February 2019.

Network membership is open to any RCM member midwives working in Scotland who wish to join, though the RCM offices only have space for up to 30 members to attend in person. If you're travelling a long way to attend in person, the RCM also has a limited budget to assist with expenses. To apply for travel funding, please contact the RCM Scotland team.

The network will set its own agenda items for future meetings as well as any work that they would like to progress electronically between meetings.

Main Contact: Angela Boyle, RCM Organiser.

Find out more here or email Angela for further details.

Other RCM Networks

  • Consultant Midwives Forum
  • FGM Group
  • RCM Advisory Forum

Related resources

For application forms and further information, please visit our Resources section.