Midwifery was legalized with the Midwives Act adopted on June 19, 1999. The OSFQ began its work on September 24, 1999. Positive results in midwifery pilot projects established in 1994 led the Evaluation Board to recommend the recognition of midwifery. The main motive for professionalization was to ensure accessibility, for all women, to midwife care.
According to the Professional Code, the creation of a professional corporation relies on five specific factors. These factors are the knowledge required to engage in the activities, the degree of independence enjoyed by the persons practising the activity, the personal nature of the relationships between such persons and those having recourse to their services, the gravity of prejudice that might be sustained by those who have recourse to the services of such persons and the confidential nature of the information that such persons are called upon to have in practising their profession.
During its first eight years of practice, the OSFQ consolidated its mandate by adopting different rules to provide a framework for the profession. The OSFQ defined a midwifery philosophy and established the professionalism of midwives by developing various tools, including the standards of practice in midwifery and the Code of Ethics.
The regulation most anticipated by the public was undoubtedly the Regulation respecting the standards and conditions of practice for conducting home deliveries, in answer to strong demand from women to give birth at home with a midwife. This regulation formalized the home as a choice of birthplace.
From a professional standpoint, the Regulation respecting the diplomas which give access to permits ratified the university education of midwives. The Four-Year Bachelor of Midwifery offered at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) then became the education program giving access to midwifery.