Professional Competencies

The New Zealand Pain Society was recently asked to clarify what profession specific qualifications would indicate that an individual was proficient to be a clinician working in the field of pain. 
In response to this query, the NZPS Council have prepared an overview of international curricula on pain and a summary of the qualifications and training currently available.
Please note: this document does not constitute a comprehensive summary but should be seen as a guide to quality references on professional qualifications in pain.
We hope that this summary for members who wish to consider further education on pain management.

2017 is the IASP’s Global Year Against Pain After Surgery


The 2017 IASP Global Year Against Pain After Surgery has several purposes:

  • Disseminate information worldwide about pain after surgery
  • Educate pain researchers as well as health-care professionals who see the issues associated with such pain first-hand in their interactions with patients
  • Increase awareness of postsurgical pain among public officials, members of the media, and the general public
  • Encourage government leaders, health-care organizations, and others to support policies that result in improved management of pain after surgery

Check out the IASP GYAP website for fact-sheets, FAQs and more.

Downloadable GYAP Poster

Medical Cannabis

Medicinal Cannabis has been the subject of much debate in 2016.

The New Zealand Pain Society supports the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Faculty of Pain Medicine’s position on this topic.

You can read the full statement here

Are you digitally minded, technologically savvy or socially connected?

For my English project in my last year of high school I did a research project entitled ‘What is the internet?”. When I tell the students in my classes at polytech this now they laugh, and then they discreetly pull out their smart phones to google just how old I actually am!

But this was only the late 1990s – an age that now feels far, far away – a time when we used snail mail instead of email, when we had to physically open a book to find the answer to a question, and when the words ‘Instagram’, ‘Facebook’ and ‘Google’ were still yet to be invented.

Digital technologies have changed so much in the last two decades, they have completely revolutionised the way we communicate with each other. These changes have influenced the way the New Zealand Pain Society communicates with both its members and the public as well.


The NZPS Council sees our online/digital presence as an important way to publicly promote the NZPS as a leader in the New Zealand pain management field by:

  • Promoting the NZPS interests and activities widely
  • Creating a repository for pain-related information for busy clinicians in New Zealand to go to for up-to-date links to pain news and events, with a New Zealand twist
  • Attracting new members to join the society
  • Communicating with both members and the public immediately and inexpensively
  • Adding value to current members by assisting them to meet, network and share ideas

Since our websites inception we have been working to build an online presence focussed on these goals. But we still have a way to go….and we need your help!

Are you digitally minded, technologically savvy, website wise or socially connected?

We are looking for expressions of interest for members of both a Website Advisory Group and our Social Media/Website administration team.

Both positions are voluntary – we are calling on your goodwill to help us upgrade the societies digital footprint.

Website Advisory Group: This is a fixed term position for the first part of 2017 to help drive a planned redesign of our website. We are looking for website savvy people to help with decision making around exactly how to maximise the usefulness of, as well as future proof the site. This position is open to NZPS members, as well as philanthropic partners, parents, children or friends.

Social Media/Website administration team: This is an ongoing position for a member with an active interest in either website management, social media or both. We are looking for motivated people to upload, tweet, post and pen items in the societies interests.

If you are interested in helping with either role (or both!), we are keen to chat with you. Please email your expression of interest to

Pain in Children and Adolescents SIG Satellite Meeting

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Trinity Wharf, 51 Dive Crescent, Tauranga, New Zealand


Register at


12.00pm – 1.00pm | Registration Open

1.00pm – 1.45pm | Chronic pain | Professor Phil Fischer, Mayo Clinic

1.45pm – 2.05pm | Pain in early adolescence | Paul Vroegop (Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist/Pain Specialist), Counties Manukau Health

2.05pm – 2.25pm | Paediatric burns and every type of pain | Kathryn Russell (Clinical Psychologist)/Debbie Murray (CNS), Counties Manukau Health

2.25pm – 2.45pm | Rehabilitation for chronic pain | Camilla Saxby (Physiotherapist), Wilson Centre

2.45pm – 3.05pm | Paediatrician’s guide to managing pain in cancer | Justin Wild (Paediatrician), Bay of Plenty District Health Board

3.05pm – 3.35pm | Afternoon Tea

3.35pm – 3.55pm | Chest pain in the cardiac clinic | Ross Nicholson (Paediatrician), Counties Manukau Health

3.55pm – 4.15pm | Impacts of the choices we make | Francois Stapelberg (Anaesthetist), Counties Manukau Health

4.15pm – 4.35pm | A word of wisdom, the 101 of paediatric pain psychology | Linda Chard (Clinical Psychologist), Starship Children’s Hospital

4.35pm –4.50pm | Pain and the child’s hospital experience | Deborah McDougall (Play Specialist), Bay of Plenty District Health Board

4.50pm –5.00pm | Pain in the Emergency Department | Speaker to be confirmed(Jane Key, Nurse Specialist Waitamata DHB)

5pm | Meeting Close

5.10pm -5.45pm | Combined AGM of the Paediatric society PICA SIG and the Pain Society PinC SIG

Info for members about ACC’s Pain Management Service

ACC are currently running a tender process to select suppliers for the delivery of their new Pain Management Service. We are sharing the information below on behalf of ACC…

For more information about the Pain Management Service, please visit the ACC website or click on the following link:


Info about ACC’s Pain Management Service

The new service replaces our existing eight pain management services and focuses on providing comprehensive pain management support and education across the full spectrum of health care – from primary to tertiary care. There are a number of benefits to the new service. These include:

  • Better support – from ACC to provide quality pain management services, including more support to help make recommendations on complex cases.
  • Clear pathway – that makes it easy for providers/suppliers to recommend and give clients the right services.
  • Better experience – of working with ACC to provide seamless services for clients.
  • Streamlined services – that makes our pain management services clear and easy to follow.
  • Collaborative – working with ACC staff and other service providers.

The new service will be implemented by December 2016. 

Info about ACC’s Pain Management Service

This is to let you know that ACC’s tender process for the delivery of their Pain Management Service is about to open. It’s an important opportunity for health Providers, so ACC want to make sure that you’re fully informed about key dates of the tender and understand the process for responding to it.

ACC is looking for Suppliers who have the capability, experience and infrastructure to deliver a redesigned and single pain management service for clients at risk of, or suffering from persistent pain. This new service will replace the existing 8 pain management services that will expire in December 2016.

 The affected services are:

  1. Activity Focus Programmes;
  2. Comprehensive Pain Assessments;
  3. Functional Reactivation Programmes;
  4. Interventional Pain Management;
  5. Multidisciplinary Persistent Pain;
  6. Progressive Goal Attainment Programmes;
  7. Pain Disability Prevention Programmes;
  8. Pain Management Psychological Services

The new service focuses on providing comprehensive pain management support and education across the full spectrum of health care from primary care to tertiary care. The intended outcomes of this process will include improving outcomes and experience for customers, financial sustainability and governance of the ACC scheme and to support more successful injury prevention activities.

For more information on redesigning Pain Management Services, a summary of key stages of the project and key documentation is available on the ACC website or click on the following link:

Be part of our new integrated pain management service & connect with other health professionals

ACC recognise that established multidisciplinary practices will be well positioned to deliver the new service. To achieve the best outcome ACC wishes to give all suppliers enough time to prepare and get organised ahead of the tender going live. This supports ACC commitment to being fair and open. 

If you are a pain management professional working outside of an existing multidisciplinary practice, and have an interest in providing pain management services to ACC clients, you may wish to connect with other health professionals to discuss the potential to join or lead a consortium bid.

If you are a multi-disciplinary practice looking for additional resources you may also wish to connect with other health professionals to discuss the potential of a consortium bid.

ACC can help you get in touch

If you’d like to be put in touch with other health professionals, ACC has advised to email with ‘Regional Tender List’ in the subject line and the following details:

  • How you’d like to be contacted
  • Your area(s) of clinical expertise
  • The regions you’re interested in providing coverage to
  • If you’re interested in either leading and / or joining a consortium bid or if you’re interested identifying additional resources.

Any consortiums tendering will need to nominate lead provider who will be responsible for billing, reporting, resourcing etc over the life of the contract.

By emailing ACC these details, you are agreeing to your contact details being added to Regional Lists. You are agreeing that ACC can share this information with other potential respondents, who have indicated a desire to collaborate with other health professionals in the same geographical area.

Getting ready to respond

ACC will issue the tender on 4 July 2016 and will close at the end of July. Successful providers would be notified by early October.
If you would like to submit a response to the tender ACC has advised us that you’ll need to do two things to get ready before the tender is issued:

  1. Make sure you are registered on the GETS website– the NZ Government Electronic Tenders Service to receive notices and updates to this tender or type ‘pain management’ in the search field. www.GETS

If you need help with registering with GETS, check out where you’ll find a guide to walk you through the process and clarify the information you need to provide.

  1. Register for briefings by contacting with the details of the session you’d like to attend. We’ll then provide further instructions.

The dates and times are:

Pre-Market Briefings

  • Tuesday 14 June – 1:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Tuesday 21 June – 11:00am to 12pm

Q & A Sessions (when Tender is in the market)

  • Thursday 7 July – 3:00pm to 4:30pm
  • Tuesday 12 July – 3:00pm to 4:30pm

If you’re receiving ACC’s stakeholder updates for this service, you can expect to receive this information by email. If you have any further questions contact please email for help.

Press Release from IASP: Global Year Against Pain in the Joints

JointPainLogo_IASP_PrintFinal_300%20transparentInitiative promotes better pain management through increased awareness

The Global Year Against Pain in the Joints launched this week, bringing attention to a wide variety of ailments and conditions affecting millions of people worldwide. Sponsored by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), the yearlong public awareness campaign focuses on education for health-care professionals and government leaders. Simultaneously, the European Pain Federation– EFIC has inaugurated the European Year Against Pain on the same topic.

The initiative will mobilize IASP’s 7,000+ members and 90 national and regional chapters and forge partnerships with other organizations. The campaign’s goals:

  • Broadly disseminate information on joint pain to patients and health-care providers
  • Connect pain researchers to health-care professionals who witness the problems associated with joint pain first-hand in their daily interactions with patients
  • Increase awareness of joint pain among government officials, the news media, the public, and patient organizations worldwide
  • Encourage government leaders, research institutions, and other individuals and organizations to support research aimed at producing more effective and accessible treatment

There are many different types of joint pain—pain related to osteoarthritis, pain after traumatic injury, pain after joint surgery, pain related to inflammatory joint disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, and pain related to crystal deposition in the joints such as gout or chrondrocalcinosis.
IASP President Rolf-Detlef Treede, Prof.,, a German neuroscientist at the University of Heidelberg, says, “Pain relief is an important objective for improving the quality of life and daily functioning in patients with diseases involving the joints, in acute conditions such as gout, as well as in chronic conditions where pain often outlasts the normal healing process.”

Throughout the world, the prevalence of joint pain is extensive and the effects debilitating. For example:

  • In the United States, an estimated 52.5 million adults have doctor-diagnosed joint disorders or diseases, and nearly 10 percent of all adults say these conditions, mostly osteoarthritis, limit their activities.1 Furthermore, a seven-fold increase in joint replacements is projected over the next 15 years due to the increased number of patients with painful osteoarthritis.2
  • In a large-scale telephone survey conducted in 15 European countries and Israel to explore the prevalence, severity, treatment, and impact of chronic pain, 19 percent of 46,394 respondents said they had suffered pain for more than six months and had experienced pain in the last month and several times during the last week. Within this group, more than 40 percent reported joint pain, most frequently knee pain.3
  • A study in Japan found an alarming prevalence of knee osteoarthritis (KOA) and lumbar spondylosis (LS) in the Japanese population. In men and women older than 40, the prevalence of KOA was 42.6% and 62.4%, respectively, and that of LS was 81.5% and 65.5%, respectively. That means 25.3 million people (8.6 million men and 16.7 million women) could be affected by KOA and 37.9 million people (18.9 million men and 19 million women) by LS. The study confirmed that factors such as obesity and occupational activities were associated with both KOA and LS.4

According to Global Year campaign co-chair Lars Arendt-Nielsen, Prof.,, PhD., of Aalborg University in Denmark: “In addition to the suffering and discomfort associated with joint pain for patients, the problem can exact substantial socio-economical costs for societies. These include lost work days and diminished quality and productivity. Aging populations, sedentary lifestyles, and an increasing propensity toward obesity all mean that the problem of joint pain will continue unabated worldwide.”

Adds co-chair Serge Perrot, Prof., MD, PhD, a pain specialist at Université Paris Descartes: “Chronic joint pain can be manageable, but treatment is often inadequate, and patients may continue to suffer. Indeed, medications are sometimes unsafe, making rehabilitation and physical therapy essential.”

As part of the Global Year Against Pain in the Joints, IASP offers a series of 20 fact sheets especially for clinicians and health-care professionals that cover specific topics related to joint pain. The fact sheets are translated into multiple languages and available for free download. Patients also may benefit from reading these latest updates.

Throughout the coming year, IASP and its chapters will sponsor meetings, symposia, interviews, publications, and other efforts to promote education on issues surrounding joint pain. For more information, visit: www.iasp-­‐

About the International Association for the Study of Pain

IASP® is the leading professional forum for science, practice, and education in the field of pain. Membership is open to all professionals involved in research, diagnosis, or treatment of pain. IASP has more than 7,000 members in 133 countries, 90 national chapters, and 20 Special Interest Groups. IASP brings together scientists, clinicians, health-care providers, and policymakers to stimulate and support the study of pain and translate that knowledge into improved pain relief worldwide.


1 Barbour KE, Helmick CG, Theis KA, Murphy LB, Hootman JM, Brady TJ, Cheng YJ. Prevalence of doctordiagnosed arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation-United States, 2010-2012. MMWR 2013;62 (44):869-873
2 Kurtz S, Ong K, Lau E, Mowat F, Halpern M. Projections of primary and revision hip and knee arthroplasty in the United States from 2005 to 2030. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2007;89(4):780-5.
3 Breivik et al European Journal of Pain 10 (2006) 287–333.
4 Yoshimura N. Epidemiology of osteoarthritis in Japan : the ROAD study. Clin Calcium. 2011 Jun;21(6):821-5. doi: CliCa1106821825.