Credential in Specialist Pain Medicine

The General Medical Council have approved the curriculum for a regulated Credential in Specialist Pain Medicine for doctors

Credentials will be focused in discrete areas of practice where consistent clinical standards recognised across the UK are necessary to support and as after patient care. 


Following engagement on their draft framework in February 2019, a refined proposal was signed off by GMC Council in June 2019. The aim is for a phased introduction of credentials, first considering five ‘early adopters’, of which one is Pain Medicine.

Why should there be a Credential in Specialist Pain Medicine?

Currently, it is only possible to officially train in Pain Medicine as an Anaesthetist. If you compare this to Australia and New Zealand, Pain Medicine Specialists come from a range of specialty backgrounds, including palliative care, neurology and rehabilitation medicine. Pain Medicine benefits from this multidisciplinary approach, pooling the benefits of education from these different backgrounds. It also ensures there is a wider potential future workforce. Credentials can be taken pre- and post-certification.

In addition, many consultants have a later conversion to Pain Medicine, and credentialing will allow them to train whilst a consultant and reach the same safe standardised level of practice, officially recognised by the GMC.

Currently, new subspecialties are not being considered by the UK Medical Education Reference Group. This therefore means that the credential option is the only way for Pain Medicine to develop its full multidisciplinary potential to ensure it has a sustainable workforce for the many patients who will need Specialist Pain Services in the future.

What is happening now?

We are currently working with the post graduate Dean for Anaesthesia - Prof Andy Whallett - to implement the credential in practice. There will be guidance issued for retrospective credential awards and advice regarding training going forward. Please visit back here for future updates.

Want to know more?
Find out what else is happening in the world of Pain Medicine.