Part of the Monitoring River Health Initiative (MRHI) comprises R&D funding to support the development of state/territory "bioassessment" protocols. One of the R&D projects, to be jointly undertaken by John Hawking (Murray Darling Freshwater Research Centre, Albury) and Chris Humphrey (Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist, Jabiru). will provide quality assurance and control for taxonomic aspects of the agency program. This is being provided by way of the taxonomic workshop (6th - 7th February) for the family-level identification, and cross-checking of agency specimen identifications and enumerations. (Cross-Checking procedures will be addressed separately with agencies at a later date.) This hand book contains taxonomic information and keys to be used at the workshop by agency staff. At the workshop, identification sessions will be conducted by recognised taxonomic experts for the most difficult of the major invertebrate taxa (see agenda p. 2). The workshop attendees will be trained in the use of the latest taxonomic keys and identification of specimens from difficult groups. This handbook cites the most appropriate keys to be used and contains several new keys which will be discussed during the workshop sessions. The most common reference is Williams (1980) and is a must for all freshwater biologists. Possibly the best reference book for the Insects is 'The Insects of Australia' (CSIRO 1991) and for lower-level identification the references in Hawking (1994) should be used.