The design and management of an orthopaedic bone bank is a complex process in which medical organisation and legislation intertwine. Neither in the Netherlands, nor in any other European country, there are official guidelines for the organisation and management of an orthopaedic bone bank. In the Netherlands, the recently modified 'law of security and quality for using human materials' (WVKL) dictates requirements for technical and organisational aspects for the use of human tissue and cells. The bone bank procedures include a thorough questionnaire for donor selection, extensive serological, bacteriological and histopathological examination, as well as standard procedures for registration, processing, preservation, storage and distribution of bone allografts. This article describes the organisation of an accredited bone bank and can be used as a proposition for an official guideline or can be useful as an example for other orthopaedic bone banks in Europe.