Backscatter factors were determined for x-ray beams relevant to diagnostic radiology using Monte Carlo methods. The phantom size considered most suitable for calibration of dosimeters is a cuboid of 30 x 30 cm2 front surface and 15 cm depth. This phantom size also provides a good approximation to adult patients. Three different media were studied: water, PMMA and ICRU tissue; the source geometry was a point source with varying field size and source-to-phantom distance. The variations of the backscatter factor with phantom medium and field geometry were examined. From the obtained data, a set of backscatter factors was selected and proposed for adoption as a standard set for the calibration of dosimeters to be used to measure diagnostic reference doses.