Background Iatrogenic bile duct injury remains a current complication of laparoscopic cholecystectomy. One uniform and standardized protocol, based on the "critical view of safety" concept of Strasberg, should reduce the incidence of this complication. Furthermore, owing to the rapid development of minimally invasive surgery, technicians are becoming more frequently involved. To improve communication between the operating team and technicians, standardized actions should also be defined. The aim of this study was to compare existing protocols for laparoscopic cholecystectomy from various Dutch hospitals. Methods Fifteen Dutch hospitals were contacted for evaluation of their protocols for laparoscopic cholecystectomy. All evaluated protocols were divided into six steps and were compared accordingly. Results In total, 13 hospitals responded-5 academic hospitals, 5 teaching hospitals, 3 community hospitals-of which 10 protocols were usable for comparison. Concerning the trocar positions, only minor differences were found. The concept of "critical view of safety" was represented in just one protocol. Furthermore, the order of clipping and cutting the cystic artery and duct differed. Descriptions of instruments and apparatus were also inconsistent. Conclusions Present protocols differ too much to define a universal procedure among surgeons in The Netherlands. The authors propose one (inter)national standardized protocol, including standardized actions. This uniform standardized protocol has to be officially released and recommended by national scientific associations (e.g., the Dutch Society of Surgery) or international societies (e.g., European Association for Endoscopic Surgery and Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons). The aim is to improve patient safety and professional communication, which are necessary for new developments.