Although estimation of haemoglobin is essential for diagnosing anaemia and assessing its severity, many health centres in developing countries do not have the facilities for haemoglobinometry. The WHO Haemoglobin Colour Scale (HCS) method is a simple and inexpensive clinical device that was recently developed in order to diagnose anaemia in such centres. In Indonesia, the copper sulphate specific gravity method is used for blood donor screening and also in primary health clinics in the rural and remote areas. In this study, the HCS method is compared with the copper sulphate method and with an earlier paper scale, the Tallquist method, against the standard haemiglobincyanide spectrophotometric method. The HCS method showed an acceptable level of precision and accuracy for use as a reliable screening tool to diagnose anaemia in patients and also for blood donor screening.