The Irish Standing Committee of the AAGBI produced guidance in 1992, supplemented in 1993 to advise members on the 1991 Irish Consultant Contract. This Contract was subsequently revised in 1997 and 2008. The 2008 (Connaughton) Consultant Contract contains many important differences from the 1997 (Buckley) Consultant Contract. This new guideline will give members a broad overview of the principles of the 2008 contract together with specific advice appropriate for consultant anaesthetists. The objective of the guideline is to enable consultant anaesthetists and their patients to adapt to and benefit from the 2008 contract.