This article publishes the findings of a recent expert-led evidence based management symposium in the UK with recommendations according to the SIGN level of evidence and grading. The article neatly summarises the key points, and its clarity despite the complexity of the topic should be recognised. Naturally any topic such as this will continue to involve areas in need of further research and discussion; one key point, however, is in the need for international agreement on the most appropriate neck dissection classification system. Consistency in terminology is vital in areas such as this. This article is a must for oncological surgeons looking for a neat review of the current understanding of the topic; anyone with examinations around the corner would also be wise to review.