This document is aimed at anyone with an interest in training research scientists to become effective users of bioinformatics services. It derives from the shared experiences of a group of people who work independently in bioinformatics training for life scientists; the group met several times during the period 2009 to 2012 to share their experiences, identify common challenges, (Schneider, M. V. et al., 2010), and agree on a set of common working practices that avoid or address these challenges (e.g. Schneider, M. V. et al., 2011). These meetings were supported by the SLING project, which is funded by the European Commission. This document structures that knowledge, with the aim of sharing it with others who have an interest in bioinformatics training. Its goal is to nucleate a ‘community of practice’ among stakeholders in bioinformatics training, enabling this community to exchange working practices that enhance the quality of training provision in this field. This document does not attempt to represent the views of the global bioinformatics training community, but rather tries to consolidate the various experiences of those who have contributed to it. Future developments and advances in bioinformatics training for life sciences will undoubtedly continue to shape these practices, and we look forward to seeing this document, and training best practice in bioinformatics, evolve through the contributions of others.