The main remit of the European Society for Paediatric Anaesthesiology (ESPA) Pain Committee is to improve the quality of pain management in children. The ESPA Pain Management Ladder is a clinical practice advisory based upon expert consensus to help to ensure a basic standard of perioperative pain management for all children. Further steps are suggested to improve pain management once a basic standard has been achieved. The guidance is grouped by the type of surgical procedure and layered to suggest basic, intermediate, and advanced pain management methods. The committee members are aware that there are marked differences in financial and personal resources in different institutions and countries and also considerable variations in the availability of analgesic drugs across Europe. We recommend that the guidance should be used as a framework to guide best practice.