Abstract Two draft proposals for an international standard for the teletex-based session protocol have now been considered by the ISO. The ECMA 75 protocol has been found to be relatively complex as a result of ECMA having to sort out some weak points within the protocol. S.62, proposed by the CCITT, is quite suitable for the kernel of the session service, but not for the entire service. The paper suggests possible developments towards an international standard, and discusses the specification of the BAS subset. It then examines the services available, and how they operate. A proposal for a standard for service conventions is presented, along with a summary of the parameters of the service elements.