Scratch quality assessment is an emotive subject between users and suppliers with the topic being far more complex than one would imagine. The ultimate objective must be to be able to determine if and by how much scratches affect optical performance. However before this topic can be addressed with confidence objective methods of scratch measurement need to be established in order that organisations can agree on the relative severity of individual scratches. An important element in this process is the definition and production of standard scratch artefacts which will provide the vehicle for assessment either by visual or machine assisted means. This paper reviews a comparative experiment which set out to correlate existing British Standard scratches with those used in the United States in conjunction with MIL-0-13830A. The results of the experiment showed considerable inconsistency between operators regarding relative severity of the sample scratches and poor correlation between sets of supposedly standard scratches. The visual test was followed by a machine assisted evaluation which removed the subjective discrepancies between individual operators but confirmed the inconsistencies within National Standard scratch artefacts. Until such time that scratch quantification can be achieved by optical performance alone, machine assisted methods and good standard artefacts need to be developed which provide results which are consistent with manual use of artefacts.