FPM Board meeting update

Read a report of the FPM Board meeting held on 29 August 2021.


2022 FPM Board election

In October, FPM fellows will be invited to forward nominations for three elected vacancies on the FPM Board. If a ballot is required for the elected positions, this will take place in January 2022.

Prospective board members are reminded that while there are no formal prerequisites for election or appointment, other than being a fellow in good standing, the demands of leadership and governance do require a level of time commitment. This is not only for the preparation and attendance at board meetings, but for other activities and responsibilities that may fall outside of these. 

Interested fellows who wish to nominate are encouraged to discuss the requirements with existing board members to better understand the potential responsibilities.

Co-opted position

To facilitate a transition to the ‘new look’ board (as outlined in the revised By-law 1: The Board of Faculty) there will be one additional position designated as ‘co-opted’ leading up to the 2022 FPM Annual General Meeting. The co-option process allows the board to ensure it has the skills and diversity required to progress its ambitious strategic goals. 

FPM by-laws
By-law 1.8 has been introduced to clarify the process on filling casual vacancies on the FPM Board. This process is consistent to that followed by the ANZCA Council. Any decision to fill a casual vacancy will be based on the skills and diversity requirements of the board.

Minor amendments have been made to By-law 3 Fellowship of the Faculty and By-law 4 Training program, as well as the FPM Training Handbook following changes to the process for trainees joining the training program without an accepted primary specialist qualification, as well as in relation to the Practice Development Stage proposal. The proposed amendments to by-law 4 and the Training Handbook will be implemented after the 2021 fellowship examination. 

By-law 21 FPM Prizes and awards has been introduced to formalise the details of the faculty’s prizes. 

Education and training

COVID impact on assessment activities 

The current COVID-19 situation has forced the postponement of long cases in New Zealand, Victoria and NSW.  Dates will be rescheduled when the assessments are able to proceed. Written fellowship exams are due to be held on Thursday 30 September

Better Pain Management

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) grant project reached a successful conclusion at the end of June. The project supported the distribution of a bundle of six core Better Pain Management modules to 10,000 relevant health professionals (free of charge) with the aim of improving prescribing practices for opioids.  The faculty achieved 10,891 enrolments against an initial target of 10,000.

The board was pleased to welcome Dr Murray Taverner into the new role of Board Sponsor – Better Pain Management (BPM).  Dr Taverner will soon be convening a BPM Uplift Working Group to review and revise program modules 1, 2 and 3. 

The faculty is now seeking expressions of interest from fellows who would like to participate in the BPM uplift module revision process. Please email fpm@betterpainmanagement.com.au if you would like further information or to nominate for the working group.

Procedures Endorsement Project Pilot

The pilot phase of the Procedures Endorsement Program continues to evolve. A supervisors’ workshop was held on 4 August and some changes were made to some of the internal assessment forms. Calibration discussions on interpretations of assessment terminology were very productive, and ensured that the projected timelines of the project remain on track despite the lack of face-to-face meetings and issues with conducting complex business on virtual platforms. 

Centralised trainee tutorial program

The new FPM Centralised Trainee Tutorial program is progressing well averaging 25 trainees per session and feedback has been positive. Trainee recordings continue to be uploaded to Networks and an evaluation survey is underway.


Engagement efforts with regional committees have continued, with the Dean and Executive Director FPM attending regional committee meetings in Queensland and Victoria since the last board meeting. 


On Wednesday 4 August, the Dean Associate Professor Mick Vagg, Dr Michelle Harris SA FPM Regional Committee Chair and Leone English, the Executive Director FPM, met the South Australian Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade. The meeting aimed to highlight key issues currently facing pain services in South Australia.  It was a positive meeting and the minister appeared engaged and interested.

On Monday 5 July meetings were held at the Burwood Hospital in Christchurch. The faculty  was represented by the Dean Associate Professor Mick Vagg, the Vice Dean Dr Kieran Davis, board member and previous FPM NZNC Chair Dr Tipu Aamir, Leone English Executive Director FPM, and Renaldo Christians Senior Policy Advisor.  

The faculty team met 26 multidisciplinary team members from the pain unit and later with the senior management team. The meetings were positive and there was a commitment by the Burwood Hospital senior managers to support the ongoing function of the pain unit and to make it sustainable.

Exploring a primary pathway for pain medicine

In a key strategic move the Faculty Board have agreed to explore the feasibility of establishing a primary pathway to fellowship for pain medicine.  This has arisen from the increasing acknowledgement that the existing post-specialist pathway can be a deterrent and barrier to some medical practitioners that may otherwise choose pain medicine as their specialist vocation.

To progress this important piece of work a Primary Pathway Working Group has been established and will meet for the first time on Friday 1 October, 2021.  It is anticipated that the faculty will engage in a range of stakeholder consultations related to this over the coming 12 months.

Research and quality improvement

National Institute of Pain Research Initiative

FPM has established a steering committee and led initial discussions with a group of key stakeholders from academia regarding the development of a pain research institute / alliance as recommended in the National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management. There is willingness within the group to work towards an independently governed and funded entity, and discussions are currently focused on identifying the preferred model for such a body. 

Professional affairs

New resource to accompany an FPM professional document

A community information sheet to accompany PS10(PM) Statement on the use of 'medicinal cannabis' for people who experience chronic pain has been developed and will be piloted for a six month period. The document is being designed and will be published on the website in due course.

FPM and HKCA Spring meeting

Registrations are open for the 2021 Combined FPM and Hong Kong College of Anaesthesiologists virtual Spring Meeting being held on Saturday 16 October. For further details and updates to the program, please visit the website

The 2022 FPM Spring Meeting will be held on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. 


Last updated 10:01 4.10.2021