The UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative University Standards programme is an accreditation programme aimed at university departments responsible for midwifery and health visitor/public health nurse education. It was developed to ensure that newly qualified midwives and health visitors are equipped with the basic knowledge and skills they need to support breastfeeding effectively.

Baby Friendly Initiative accreditation is awarded to an individual course, not to the university itself. Universities are welcome to apply for accreditation for each of the courses they provide for the training of midwives or health visitors/public health nurses.

Please note that our university standards were recently reviewed. Revised learning outcomes and guidance on implementing the revised standards are available to download, along with transition guidance on moving from the old to the new standards.  A new audit tool for universities has been published to support university programmes working towards the standards.

For any questions, please contact the Baby Friendly office

  • Baby Friendly Logo UNICEF UK

    Why go Baby Friendly? Baby Friendly accreditation can make a difference to your university...

  • A mother holds her baby in bed UNICEF UK/Jill Jennings 2006

    Preparing to go Baby Friendly All universities providing courses in midwifery and health visiting/public health nursing are encouraged to register their intention to implement the standards. 

  • Baby in cot UNICEF UK/Jill Jennings 2009

    Stage 1 Stage 1 assesses the evidence that the learning outcomes will be met by the course. 

  • Breastfeeding antenatal information UNICEF UK/Jill Jennings 2006

    Stage 2 After Stage 1 has been passed and the department is satisfied that a cohort of students has completed all the infant feeding elements of the programme they can apply for these students’ knowledge and skills to be assessed.  

  • Breastfeeding News and Research from the Baby Friendly Initiative UNICEF UK/Caroline Penn 2009

    Re-accreditation The first reassessment will take place within three years, with subsequent reassessments at intervals to be decided by the Baby Friendly Initiative’s designation committee. 

  • Training UNICEF UK/Jill Jennings 2006

    Old standards These standards, which have since been revised, will apply to any assessments carried out before 1 September 2014.