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Return to Midwifery

Looking to come back to midwifery? Your skills and experience are highly valued and there has never been a better time to return to the profession you love.

If you are no longer a registered midwife, there are three ways you can return:

If you are already registered, you can look for vacancies on NHS jobs. If you’re on the COVID-19 temporary register, you can find out how you can move to the permanent register on the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) website.

Employers can find out about the enhanced offer of support here.



Applications for readmission to the register need to meet several requirements. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 450 hours of registered practice in the last three years, or 750 hours of registered practice in the last five years (practice gained while on the COVID-19 temporary register counts).
  • 35 hours of CPD in the three years preceding your readmission application.
  • Three references.

You can read the full requirements on the NMC website.

If you do not meet these requirements, you can re-join the register by completing a Test of Competence or a Return to Practice course.


Test of Competence

This route is suitable for those who have been off the register for a short period and do not meet the readmission practice hours requirements.

It involves:

  1. a multiple-choice test, and
  2. a practical Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OFSCE).

The total cost for sitting both elements is £877, but the NHS will reimburse you once you are registered and employed.

To book the Test of Competence (ToC) and find out more visit the NMC website.


Return to Practice course

Alternatively, you can complete a Return to Practice (RTP) course. This is an appropriate route for those who haven’t practised midwifery for a long period of time.

Courses vary in length to suit different needs and you can find them all on our course finder. Courses and clinical practice learning can be completed on a flexible or part-time basis.

Once you have started your course, you can look forward to your course and placement fees being paid, plus £1000 for travel, childcare and books. You’ll also receive the support of a personal mentor.

Please note that if you are undertaking an RTP course while employed as an RTP midwife, you will not be eligible for the £1000 stipend or placement fee reimbursement (your course fee will be reimbursed, however). You can search for RTP roles on NHS Jobs.

Upon completion, you'll be able to re-join the NMC register and look for permanent or temporary work.


Support for employers

HEE recognises the value of returners to midwifery and has therefore extended the enhanced Return to Practice offer to midwifery. Midwives leave the profession for a variety of reasons and this offer will help support more midwives return to the workplace.

The extended offer comprises:

  • A £5000 payment to employers for each RTP midwife recruited. This is paid on commencement of the course and on the condition that the individuals complete their RTP course or ToC and return to employment as a registered midwife.
    • RTP course fees, stipend and placement fees will be reimbursed by the regional RTP teams.
    • ToC fees will be reimbursed by the national RTP team.



  • Individuals can be employed as a Return to Practice midwife (usually a band 3) whilst undertaking an RTP course or ToC. A £5000 payment will be made to the employer once the returnee commences their programme and employment.
    • If the returnee is undertaking a course, the fees will be paid by the regional team, however, they will not be eligible for the stipend and placement fee reimbursement.
    • If taking the ToC, the cost will be reimbursed by the national RTP team.

All NHS employers and non-NHS employers delivering NHS-commissioned services can take advantage of this offer. Returnees must commence their course or ToC by 31 March 2022.

Myth Buster 

In order to assist those considering returning to practice to understand clearly everything that it entails a comprehensive Myth Buster document has been produced. A copy of the document is also available in the Related Documents section of this page.