ESHRE has been running courses for basic semen analysis since 1994 and course material has been updated regularly in response to new findings and publications. Following publication of the 5th edition of the WHO laboratory manual, entitled WHO Laboratory Manual for the Examination and Processing of Human Semen (WHO5), the Subcommittee for training of the ESHRE Special Interest Group for Andrology evaluated potential amendments to its course. In respect of the updated ESHRE course, there are eight particular areas of discourse that are reviewed (i) maintaining the four-class differential motility count allowing distinction between rapid and slow progressive sperm for assisted reproduction technology. (ii) Maintaining the four-category assessment for sperm morphology with calculation of the teratozoospermic index. (iii) Continuing to advocate the use of three categories of results: ‘normal’, ‘borderline’ and ‘abnormal’ with respect to the clinical interpretation of the data. (iv) Presenting clear and unequivocal methods for performing assessments e.g. morphology. (v) Correcting the inconsistencies in WHO5, some of which are actually erroneous. (vi) Reducing the requirements for substantial extra work for what are unestablished improvements in accuracy and/or precision in the final results. (vii) Presentation of logical methods of sperm preparation. (viii) Discussion of the suddenly changed limits between fertile and subfertile men.