Renal tumours constitute 2.5% of all malignancies and are among the 10 most common malignancies in the UK. Most of these are renal cell carcinomas (RCC) of various subtypes. Although historically RCC has been shown to be resistant to radiotherapy and chemotherapy, recent data suggest that the use of biological treatments, such as adjuvants, may be beneficial in patients with disease that has progressed at the time of presentation. The accurate diagnosis, staging, and grading of RCC is now a crucial element in optimal patient management. There are data to support the importance of histological type, tumour size, stage ( especially patterns of extrarenal spread), and grade in determining outcome, and these data have been used to develop the published classification (Heidelberg/ Rochester), staging (TNM), and grading (Fuhrman) systems. This article describes a dissection and histological sampling protocol that has been shown to increase the yield of staging information, a guide to histological classification and grading, and finally a minimum dataset for the completion of a satisfactory pathology report.