‘RCM launches international partnership with INMO aimed at Brexit proofing midwifery learning and practice’

By RCM on 22 January 2018 RCM Brexit INMO - Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation Republic of Ireland Trade Unions RCM i-Learn

Today (Monday January 22nd) The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) have formally launched their international partnership at the Embassy of Ireland, in London.

A special ceremony to mark this historic agreement was held earlier today and the ‘Memorandum of Mutual Co-operation’ between the RCM and INMO was officially signed  by RCM’s Chief Executive and General Secretary Gill Walton and  Phil Ni Sheaghdh – General Secretary of the INMO, RCM’s President Kathryn Gutteridge and IMNO President  Matina Harkin-Kelly.

Most significantly the partnership between the RCM and INMO is the first of its kind between two trade unions across borders and the Irish sea. In the context of Brexit it will strengthen the ability of midwives to practice and educate regardless of the outcome of Brexit negotiations.

As a result of the new partnership Irish midwives will also have full access to the RCM’s innovative learning offer i-learn and i-folio . The RCM’s i-Learn is an online learning resource with over 100 courses available for midwives and MSW’s to build their professional development.

In addition to this both organisations have also  committed to the following;

  • Defining employment assistance to members working in the country of the other ie INMO – Ireland, RCM – UK.
  • Working together to seek to identify areas for common approaches to influence on behalf of our members whether nationally or internationally.
  • Hosting joint events and conferences  for midwives and MSWs across Ireland and Northern Ireland
  • Exploring and providing appropriate assistance on the professional development needs of midwife members on an agreed basis.
  • Exploring and providing appropriate assistance on the future routes to influence within the European Union.

Commenting Gill Walton, General Secretary and Chief Executive at RCM said; “Today marks a very significant day in the history of both our trade unions and professional bodies. We have come together in the face of Brexit to choose to work with midwives in the Republic of Ireland. My priorities as RCM’s leader are about, safety, leadership and partnership and that is what this memorandum is all about too.

“In future we will work closely with the INMO to assist both our members to provide safe, high quality maternity services for women and their families. Irish midwives will also now be able to access high quality learning resources via RCM’s i-learn which will go towards their professional development.”

Comenting, Jon Skewes, Director of Policy, Employment Relations and Communications at the RCM says; “The RCM  and the INMO already have a history of working together as Irish and UK trade unions and professional bodies and we are both are members of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and of the European Public Services Union.  . 

“Today is about our two trade unions and professional bodies Brexit –proofing our relationship for our members The RCM views Brexit as a threat, a threat to cross boarder provision of maternity services, staffing levels and to co-operation and learning from each other.  We will now jointly ensure our members who work in others jurisdiction are properly represented; equally we will now use our joint influence not only in Europe, but in our member’s workplace’s and with both our respective Governments.”

INMO General Secretary, Phil Ni Sheaghdha said; “The mutual representation rights confirmed between our two organisations is a unique experiment for unions in Europe. It is timely given Brexit and it may set an example for greater co-operation into the future in advancing the rights and entitlements of professional workers in our health services”. 



Notes to editors

To read more about RCM’s i-Learn and i-Folio here: https://www.rcm.org.uk/i-learn-and-i-folio

For more details on the Irish Nursing and Midwives Organisation (INMO) click here: http://www.inmo.ie/


To contact the RCM Press Office call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected]

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.