Intelligent Intermittent Auscultation in Labour

The programme is aimed at midwives and student midwives who care for low risk women in labour.

How learners will benefit from the course:

Learners will benefit through improved midwifery knowledge and skills to undertake IIA of the fetal heart safely and effectively improving safety for low risk labouring women. Through increasing their confidence in this midwifery skill, it will enable early recognition of deterioration of the fetus in labour; prompting appropriate escalation and move to electronic fetal monitoring.

Individuals and maternity services will have access to up to date staff training records and intermittent auscultation competency assessments.

Course content  

It is expected that midwives will have basic knowledge of fetal physiology related to the assessment of fetal wellbeing during labour, an understanding of changes in the fetal physiology in response to stress in labour and identify signs that the fetus is not coping normally.

Course content will focus on:

  • risk assessment of maternal and fetal wellbeing
  • enhanced skills in auscultation and interpretation of the fetal heart in low risk labouring women
  • prompt recognition of abnormalities in the fetal heart pattern
  • the ability to respond and escalate appropriately.

On completion of this interactive education and training package midwives will be able to:

  • describe the risk assessment that is required to accurately assess maternal and fetal wellbeing at the beginning of labour
  • describe how to undertake a thorough assessment of fetal wellbeing during labour using intermittent auscultation
  • discuss the ongoing risk assessment in labour
  • discuss when intermittent auscultation is appropriate or not
  • identify the situations which would prompt a move to continuous electronic fetal monitoring
  • listen to fetal heart sounds and identify the baseline rate and presence of abnormal features
  • evaluate their competency and learning by undertaking the pre and post training assessments.


60 minutes


Pre and post course training knowledge assessments


Free to NHS staff

In order to access the programme you will need an e-LfH account.