The market penetration of self-compacting concrete (SCC) is hindered by the lack of normalized tests, criteria and standards with regard to properties of the fresh concrete. A national research project concentrates on this bottle neck with main objectives to evaluate and validate the empirical test methods used for the characterization of fresh SCC. This article will present the preliminary results of the research project. The evaluation and validation is based upon the comparison with a more fundamental rheological characterization with the BML Viscometer and upon the estimation of repeatability and reproducibility. Following test methods are considered: slump flow, V-funnel, J-Ring, L-Box, sieve stability test and penetration apparatus. These tests combined with criteria should offer the possibility to allow a quick and adequate characterization of self-compacting concrete, whether it be delivered on the construction site or used in a prefabrication plant.