The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) has recently reviewed the ethical foundations of its recommendations. The approach taken in its report is similar to principlism, i.e. the system of Beauchamp and Childress proposed in their ‘Principles of Biomedical Ethics.’ The commission identifies a number of ‘core values’ which have helped shape the evolution of the ICRP system of radiological protection, namely ‘Beneficence and non-maleficence’, ‘Prudence’, ‘Justice’ and ‘Dignity’. In addition, ‘procedural values’ are cited that are important for the system’s applications in practice, ‘Accountability’, ‘Transparency’ and ‘Inclusiveness (Stakeholder Participation)’. It is emphasized that these values are common to or at least acceptable for people from different cultural backgrounds, which for an endeavour as global in nature as radiological protection seems to be quite important and appropriate. Thus, the ICRP document on ‘Ethics of radiological protection’ could set a standard for other areas.