Traditionally, trainee surgeons have learnt many surgical procedures in the operating theatre directly on the patient, under the supervision of an experienced surgeon. However, for ethical, practical and legal reasons, there is a need to create training programs outside the operating theatre. The Netherlands Healthcare Inspectorate (IGZ) requires that measures be taken to improve training in laparoscopic skills by January 2009. The relevant surgical specialties need to collaborate on the development of uniform guidelines. It is time-consuming and costly to validate simulators and training programs. The ‘Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery’ program is a training program developed in the United States of America which consists of theoretical and practical modules. It has been validated in various stages. Aspects of this program could be applied in Dutch training programs for basic laparoscopic skills.