One of the most critical challenges arising from the increased deployment of human rights field officers is that of the professionalisation of this sector: overarching principles, methods and goals need to be elaborated, a core ‘doctrine’ of human rights fieldwork articulated. There are vast gaps in this respect – work areas where little or no guidance is available and the practitioner is obliged to proceed in a trial-and-error process of experimentation. Similarly, there is a lack of comprehensive codes of practice and of performance indicators whereby fieldwork can be properly evaluated.