Different single-aliquot regenerative-dose (SAR) protocols have now been applied for some years to quartz grains for determining the equivalent dose, in both dating and retrospective dosimetry studies. This paper begins by laying out the basic principles of the SAR procedure on which the various SAR protocols are based. A general model is examined and three simple performance tests are laid out. Recent experimental characterisation of the optically stimulated luminescence signals from quartz grains is reviewed, giving particular regard to implications for SAR protocols. Various published SAR protocols are presented and discussed, particularly with regard to changes in experimental procedure and methods of data analysis in order to isolate the fast component of the OSL signal. It is concluded that the SAR procedure has proved to be a very powerful approach for determining the equivalent dose using quartz OSL signals dominated by the fast component. The presence of other components complicates the simplest protocols and further quantification of their behaviour is required.