In Flanders, sampling guidelines for investigations on contamination of soils are in development. One detailed sampling guideline is currently available with respect to the prospective investigation in the frame of the decree related to soil sanitation. Four strategies for sampling may be followed as a function of available information about pollution sources. Guidelines indicate what has to be sampled (top soil, deeper soil, soil water), how sampling points must be determined, how the number of samples and analyses is determined and what parameters need to be analysed. The example given shows that sampling guidelines will strongly depend on the ultimate goal of a particular sampling. A sampling procedure should be developed with close consideration of practical aspects and limitations, in order to be practical, realistic and cost-effective.