This International Standard is designed to allow the user to simply assess, on a routine basis, several key parameters of an X-ray photoelectron spectrometer. It is not intended to provide an exhaustive performance check but instead provides a rapid set of tests that may be conducted frequently. Aspects of instrument behaviour covered by this document include the vacuum, measurements of spectra of conductive or non-conductive samples and the current state of the X-ray source. Other important aspects of the instrument performance (e.g. lateral resolution) fall outside the scope of this standard. The standard is intended for use with commercial X-ray photoelectron spectrometers equipped with a monochromated Al Kα X-ray source or with a unmonochromated Al or Mg Kα X-ray source. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.