Department of Health

Maternal and Child Health Workforce professional development

Key messages

Opportunities for Maternal and Child Health nurses for formal and informal learning and development, including:

  • Information on upcoming and past MCH Conferences
  • Scholarships and workforce attraction incentives for local government
  • Professional Development and Training.

MCH nurses are required to undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD) annually. The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) sets the standards for CPD and has produced guidelines and a fact sheet on CPD. These can be found on the NMBA websiteExternal Link .

Victorian Maternal and Child Health Conference

In collaboration with DHHS, MAV host Maternal and Child Health Conferences twice a year.

The conferences provide an opportunity for the workforce to come together and learn about a range of clinical practice, legal requirements and government reform areas that impact on the Maternal and Child Health Service.The State-Wide MCH Conference is open to all MCH nurses, MCH students and allied health professionals working in the Maternal and Child Health sector.

Upcoming conferences

The next Victorian MCH Conference will be held on March 2021.

Previous conferences

Presentations and information on previous MCH conferencesExternal Link is available on the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) website.

Victorian Maternal and Child Health scholarships

The MCH Nursing Scholarship is a statewide initiative to support registered nurses and midwives to undertake a postgraduate program of study in child and family health nursing. The financial support assists in ensuring the MCH nursing workforce is sustainable and able to meet future service needs.

To practice as a MCH nurse in Victoria, a MCH nurse is required to hold current registration with AHPRA as:

  • a Registered Nurse (Division 1)
  • a Registered Midwife, and
  • in addition to the above registrations, hold an accredited postgraduate degree/diploma (or equivalent) in maternal and child health nursing.

To practice in Australia, registered nurses and midwives must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency through the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).

The MCH Nursing scholarship provides funding of up to $7,500 for:

  • Full-time students over one year
  • Part-time students over two years.

The number and value of scholarships offered will be determined based on the number of eligible applicants that have accepted either a full fee paying or commonwealth supported place (CSP).

Bursaries of up to $5,000 are also available for eligible students.

The department supports this scholarship as an initiative of the Victorian Government's Early Childhood Reform Plan.


To be eligible for this scholarship you must:

  • be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, an Australian permanent resident or a permanent humanitarian visa holder
  • have accepted a place as a new student, and/or be enrolled as a continuing student at Federation University, La Trobe University or RMIT University in one of the following courses for Semester 1, 2022:
    • Graduate Diploma of Health, Child and Family Health Nursing (Federation University)
    • Master of Health, Child and Family Health Nursing (Federation University)
    • Graduate Diploma in Child, Family and Community Nursing (La Trobe University)
    • Graduate Diploma in Child and Family Health Nursing (RMIT University)
  • be currently registered as a Division 1 Registered Nurse (without restrictions) with Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
  • have current registration as a Midwife and a registered Division 1 nurse (without restrictions) with AHPRA.

You are ineligible to apply if you have previously received a MCH Nursing Scholarship from the Department of Education and Training (DET) or Department of Health (DH).

It is important that the MCH Nursing workforce reflects the composition of the Victorian community. The department strongly encourages applications from eligible people of any gender identity, age, religion, ethnicity, language, socio-economic background, sexual orientation and disability.

Priorities for scholarship recipients for 2022 will include:

  • applicants who identify as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage
  • applicants from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds
  • eligible applicants from rural and remote regions
  • applicants from communities affected by natural disaster (excluding COVID-19) in the last two years
  • applicants residing in areas projected to have high workforce demand for MCH services
  • applicants with demonstrated financial need, such as applicants in receipt of a Government tested low-income benefit or who hold a Health Care Card.

How to apply

FederationExternal Link , La TrobeExternal Link and RMITExternal Link Universities are administering the scholarship program, in partnership with the department. Please apply through the University.

Professional development

Aboriginal and Torres Strait cultural safety training

Cultural Safety training will focus on developing broad foundational knowledge of Aboriginal cultures, history and working in partnership to provide services to Aboriginal families support the competence of MCH nurses to practice in a culturally safe way and build capacity of MCH Services to embed culturally safe practices into organisational processes and policies. All MCH nursing and non-nursing staff are expected to undertake the training.

To be released in 2020

Autism professional development

Professional development to assist MCH nurses build their skills and confidence in reliably identifying early signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) during KAS checks at 12, 18 and 24 months of age.

To be released in 2020

Sleep and settling professional development

Professional will be provided to the workforce to support a consistent approach to sleep and settling and an understanding of the model. It will provide an overview of the model, typical sleep behaviours for developmental ages, how to develop positive sleep patterns, how to support parents with identified sleep concerns using evidence-informed approaches and strategies, and the importance of self-care and support for parents.

To be released in 2020

Kidsafe Child Injury Prevention e-learning tool

The e-learn provides a platform to support MCH nurses' knowledge of child injury prevention, with modules on home safety, water safety, safe play, road safety and product safety. The tool will support all MCH nurses to provide parents and carers with consistent, up-to-date information and advice to prevent injuries in children. Provides a free central repository of evidence-based, learning and information resources on preventing childhood injuries, resources align with the relevant Australian Standards and best practice guidelines.

To be released in 2020

MARAM MCH leadership training

MARAM leading alignment trainingExternal Link is for organisational leaders, CEOs, directors or senior managers across all organisations/agencies prescribed under the MARAM. The training will help managers lead and embed MARAM within their organisation/agency. The training promotes an understanding of the MARAM Framework including key

Child information sharing legislation and Family violence information sharing

Online learning for the Child Information Sharing Scheme and Family Violence Information Sharing SchemeExternal Link , with an introduction to MARAM currently has the forst 4 modules availavble. The remaining MARAM training modules 'Brief and Intermediate' and 'Screening and Identification' are being tailored and delivered via relevant departments. This will ensure consistency with different workforce approaches to MARAM.

Trauma informed practice training – MERTIL

The MERTIL platformExternal Link offers training in the identification of and response to early relational trauma. MERTIL translates attachment and caregiving theory and evidence for application in all frontline early childhood workforces. For those who’ve already completed MERTIL, a 2 hour Mini MERTIL refresher course is now available.

Protecting children: mandatory reporting and other obligations

Mandatory reporting refers to the legal requirement of certain professional groups to report a reasonable belief of child physical or sexual abuse to child protection authorities. For more information, see Mandatory reportingExternal Link on the Providers website.

Bridges Out of Poverty training

The ‘Bridges Out of Poverty’External Link 2-day workshop that can take a lot of stress out of managing your caseload and optimise outcomes for the people with whom you work. The material provides profound insights and answers to community professionals, agency workers and allied health practitioners serving client bases challenged by financial and social disadvantage.

Play, Learn and Grow

The Play, Learn and Grow resources (PDF)External Link are designed to support MCH nurses to support the crucial role that families play in fostering their children’s learning and development.

Perinatal mental health and psychosocial assessment

The Perinatal mental health and psychosocial assessment resource manual has been developed by expert staff at the Parent-Infant Research Institute (PIRI), Mercy Women's Hospital and Austin Health perinatal, who have an extensive background in the area of perinatal mental health as well as health professional training.

Other professional development

Reviewed 25 October 2023


Contact details

Maternal and Child Health Service The Maternal and Child Health and Parenting Unit manages the MCH Service in Victoria.

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