Current methods of measurement of proprioceptive function depend on the ability to detect passive movement (kinaesthesia) or the awareness of joint position (joint position sense, JPS). However, reports of proprioceptive function in healthy and pathological joints are quite variable, which may be due to the different methods used. We have compared the validity of several frequently used methods to quantify proprioception. Thirty healthy subjects aged between 24 and 72 years underwent five established tests of proprioception. Two tests were used for the measurement of kinaesthesia (KT1 and KT2). Three tests were used for the measurement of JPS, a passive reproduction test (JPS1), a relative reproduction test (JPS2) and a visual estimation test (JPS3). There was no correlation between the tests for kinaesthesia and JPS or between the different JPS tests. There was, however, a significant correlation between the tests for kinaesthesia (r = 0.86). We conclude therefore that a subject with a given result in one test will not automatically obtain a similar result in another test for proprioception. Since they describe different functional proprioceptive attributes, proprioceptive ability cannot be inferred from independent tests of either kinaesthesia or JPS.