The development of a qualifying system for reflectance analysis has been the scope of a working group within the International Committee for Coal and Organic Petrology (ICCP) since 1999, when J. Koch presented a system to qualify vitrinite particles according to their size, proximity to bright components and homogeneity of the surface. After some years of work aimed at improving the classification system using photomicrographs, it was decided to run a round robin exercise on microscopy samples. The classification system tested consists of three qualifiers ranging from excellent to low quality vitrinites with an additional option for unsuitable vitrinites. This paper reports on the results obtained by 22 analysts who were asked to measure random reflectance readings on vitrinite particles assigning to each reading a qualifier. Four samples containing different organic matter types and a variety of vitrinite occurrences have been analysed. Results indicated that the reflectance of particles classified as excellent, good or poor compared to the total average reflectance did not show trends to be systematically lower or higher for the four samples analysed. The differences in reflectance between the qualifiers for any given sample were lower than the scatter of vitrinite reflectance among participants. Overall, satisfactory results were obtained in determining the reflectance of vitrinite in the four samples analysed. This was so for samples having abundant and easy to identify vitrinites (higher plant-derived organic matter) as well as for samples with scarce and difficult to identify particles (samples with dominant marine-derived organic matter). The highest discrepancies were found for the organic-rich oil shales where the selection of the vitrinite population to measure proved to be particularly difficult. Special instructions should be provided for the analysis of this sort of samples. The certainty of identification of the vitrinite associated with the vitrinite reflectance values reported has been assessed through a reliability index which takes into account the number of readings and the coefficient of variation. The same statistical approach as that followed in the ICCP vitrinite reflectance accreditation program for single seam coals has been used for data evaluation. The results indicated low to medium dispersion for 17 out of 22 participants. This, combined with data from other sets of comparative analyses over a long period, is considered an encouraging result for the establishment of an accreditation program on vitrinite reflectance measurements in dispersed organic matter. ?? 2006 ICCP.