Effective peri-operative pain management is a prerequisite for optimal recovery after surgery. Despite published evidence-based guidelines from several professional groups, postoperative pain management remains inadequate. The procedure-specific pain management (PROSPECT) collaboration consists of anaesthetists and surgeons with broad international representation that provide healthcare professionals with practical and evidence-based recommendations formulated in a way that facilitates clinical decision-making across all stages of the peri-operative period on a procedure-specific basis. The aim of this manuscript is to provide a detailed description of the current PROSPECT methodology with the intention of providing the rigour and transparency in which procedure-specific pain management recommendations are developed. The high methodological standards of the recommendations should improve the quality of clinical practice.