European Diploma in Pain Medicine

European Diploma in Pain Medicine (EDPM)The European Pain Federation is organising a virtual Examination for the European Diploma in Pain Medicine (EDPM) on 27 November 2021. Find out more below.

The virtual examinations will be held using the EFIC Academy Education Platform. All registered participants will be provided access to the Platform for the period of the examination. EFIC will provide guidance to first-time users of the Platform. Full details, including specific information on exam conduct and infringements related to the virtual format will be circulated in due course.




The purpose of the EDPM is to improve the standard of pain assessment and treatment through the provision of a qualification for all medical professionals that tests their broad understanding of all types of pain and their treatment.

The EDPM is not designed to replace national qualifications, but to establish a harmonised understanding of pain across Europe through a qualification open to all European doctors, as well as doctors from outside of Europe, and to provide a qualification in those countries where a national equivalent does not exist.


The content of the Examination is based upon the European Pain Federation EFIC® Pain Curriculum for the European Diploma in Pain Medicine (‘the Curriculum’) and selected accompanying learning materials.

Target audience

The EDPM is open to all qualified doctors who see and treat pain. Appropriate clinical experience in pain assessment and treatment is essential and shall be documented. Residents and fellows working in inter/multidisciplinary pain centres or multidisciplinary pain clinics are ideal candidates, though the qualification is open to all doctors, specialists or general practitioners, with an interest in pain and its management.


  • To be recognised as the reliable standard of quality care in pain assessment and treatment throughout Europe.
  • To be acknowledged as the key qualification in pain assessment and treatment in countries for which such a qualification does not exist

The Examination will take place in two parts:

  • Part 1 will be a multiple-choice question (MCQ) examination.
  • Part 2 will be a series of objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) and viva examinations.

The Examination Committee may decide to hold part 1 and part 2 separately or together in one sitting. Completion of part 1 alone, entitles the participant to the EFIC® Certificate in Pain Medicine Knowledge, to reward their possession of a strong level of knowledge on pain types and their treatment.

The MCQ examination is designed to test the participants’ knowledge of pain assessment and treatment.

The MCQ examination will feature 50 questions. Each question will be composed of a stem followed by five answer statements. Each answer statement will either be true or false. There will be no negative marking.

The time provided for the MCQ examination will be 90 minutes.

The MCQ examination can take one of two forms:

  • Paper form – answers will be marked using either a pen or a pencil. Participants should take care to ensure that one choice of either true or false is marked per answer statement.
  • Virtual form – the examination will be organised using a virtual examination environment with participants providing their answers remotely from their workspace.
The OSCEs are designed to test the participants’ clinical experience, judgement, interpretation of evidence, attitude and communication skills.

The OSCEs will take place within an examination facility, typically a wing of a teaching hospital or University with an appropriate lay-out and equipment for the conduct of OSCEs.

There will be 6 stations, each representing a simple clinical situation. Participants will be provided with 7 minutes to complete each station, with a short break in between each station. Each station will be marked using an examination paper, to be completed by the participant, or in some specific cases by an examiner who will attend the station.

Each OSCE will be organised in a way that participants are provided with information which is as objective as possible. Any communication from examiners or actors shall be as objective as possible and based on guidance provided in advance at the Examiner briefing.

Vivas are designed to test the participants’ clinical experience, judgement, attitude and communication skills.

Vivas are oral examinations, in which the participant is asked to engage in a dialogue with an examiner.

There will be two sets of two vivas, each set lasting 15 minutes, and the viva examination as a whole totalling 30 minutes. Each set of vivas will have two components, one based upon a case history submitted by the participant, the other will be based upon a typical clinical situation designated by the Examination Committee.

Pass mark
Each component of the Examination will receive a mark out of 20. To pass a component, a participant will need to receive at least 10 out 20. All three components need to be passed. A mark of 8-9/20 can be compensated for by higher marks in other components. The Exam Director will be responsible for any decision to permit a pass through these means after a deliberation meeting with present members from the Board of Examiners immediately after the examination.

Concerning the marking scheme for each component:


The MCQ paper features 250 questions. If a candidate answers 75% of those question correctly, they receive a score of 10 for this component. If a candidate answers 100% of those questions correctly, they receive a score of 20. If a candidate answers 50% or fewer of the question correctly, they receive a score of 0. Any mark between 50% and 100% will be given a proportionate score.


Each OSCE station will have its own marking scheme depending on the clinical skills being evaluated. The marks for the 6 stations will be pooled, and a participant will receive a score out of 20 based on performance across all stations. A candidate receiving 50% of marks available will receive a score of 10. All score awarded will be proportional based on percentage of marks received; 100% = score of 20.


Examiners will be provided with a descriptive scoring table, with the examiner asked to provide a score reflecting their view on the participants clinical reasoning and skills. The scores of the two examiners in each station will be pooled, and then pooled with the scores identified by the examiners in the second station. Agreement will be found amongst all concerned examiners and any significant disagreement will be mediated by the Exam Director.


Eligibility criteria
Eligibility criteria for participants of the Examination should ensure that participants are likely to have a strong grasp of the Curriculum and experience of treating pain patients.

The following minimum criteria should be used:

  • Demonstrable possession of a Medical Degree.
  • Curriculum Vitae detailing at least two years’ clinical work in which patients with pain have been assessed and treated. Clinical work during postgraduate training and fellowships in which patients with pain have been assessed and treated can be used as proof of relevant clinical experience.
  • Letter of support or endorsement from two referees. For example, a head of department, clinical director or senior colleague. Endorsement letter should state that the candidate is in good standing in their country, and in their department, and is involved in seeing and managing patients with pain on a regular basis.
  • Completion of application form
  • Strong working knowledge of English (oral and written)
  • Payment of fees ahead of the requested deadline
  • Submission of all supporting documents required for vivas and any other presentations
Candidates will be provided with pens and pencils. No additional materials can be taken into the Examination venues. Electronic devices such as phones, tablets, computers, smart watches or similar are strictly prohibited.

Communication between participants during the Examination is strictly prohibited.

Any participant found to be breaching these rules, or to be jeopardising the fair conduct of the Examination in any other way will be excluded. Any participant found to have passed any part of the Examination through fraudulent means will have their qualification rescinded.

When organised via virtual means (e.g. in the case of virtual MCQ papers), additional steps will be taken to prevent infringements, such as question and answer order randomisation. Nevertheless, the Exam Committee may rescind the qualification of any participant thought to have committed an infringement. Infringements in this context may take any of the following forms:

  • Taking copies of examination content for use outside of the sitting
  • Conferring with other participants, either in person or via online communication,
  • Using an internet browser or other materials to inform their answers
The Examination content, both written and oral, will be in English. Participants are advised that a high-level of spoken and written English is required. Translation or interpretation services are not possible for this Examination.

The Examination Committee shall ensure that a reasonable level of flexibility is provided for medical and other technical terminology. However, participants should be familiar with such terminology in English.

Appeals process
Any participant wishing to appeal should write to the Examination Committee via the Federation Secretariat within four weeks off receiving their results. Appeals will be responded to by the Examination Committee within six weeks of the initial communication of results.


To sit the Examination in full, a registration fee of 700 Euros is required for participation. Where the Examination is available in two separate parts, the following registration fees are applied:

  • Part 1: 250 euros
  • Part 2: 450 euros

Fees are excluding VAT and non-refundable.

Register now for Part 1

You will be asked to complete payment for part 1 of the exam. Upon completion of payment, you will be asked to complete the formal registration form.

Financial Aid

Please look out for future updates on whether EFIC are offering financial support for their upcoming examinations.