Standards for Revalidation of Doctors in Pain Medicine

The Board of the Faculty of Pain Medicine has established a sub-group to consider the issue of revalidation in Pain Medicine. The practice of Pain Medicine differs from that of anaesthesia in significant ways; however many doctors practice both anaesthesia and Pain Medicine and they will need to maintain their skills in both disciplines.

The Board will produce a description of standards for pain practitioners in a document that will be complementary to a similar description of standards for anaesthetists ‘The Good Anaesthetist’ that will be published by the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

These standards will set out the knowledge, skills and attitudes expected of a career grade doctor working in Pain Medicine. The standards are not intended to improve existing practice; they will be achievable standards that set the benchmark for acceptable practice. The doctor practising to a minimum acceptable standard will be expected to meet the standards within this document that are listed as essential. Medical professionalism is founded on the possession of knowledge, skills, ethical values and standards, with a commitment to put the interests of patients first. Revalidation and recertification enable doctors to demonstrate their professionalism; the process allows individuals to document how they maintain and improve their performance in the pursuit of excellence. Achieving the additional standards of practice listed as desirable in this document will help Pain Medicine practitioners to achieve this goal.

This document should be read in conjunction with the General Medical Council (GMC) documents Good Medical Practice (2006), Management for Doctors (2006), Research: the role and responsibilities of doctors (2002) and other GMC ethical guidance documents on continuing professional development, management, research, consent and confidentiality (

01 February 2010