This paper examines a new rock mass classification system (RMCR) for Coal Measures Rocks which is based on extensive laboratory testing results. The new system has been developed using 12 parameters which consist of mineral content index, uniaxial compressive strength, uniaxial tensile strength, Young's modulus of elasticity, shear strength, cohesion of rocks, angle of internal friction, point load index, cone indenter index, Cerchar index, Shore schleroscope hardness and specific energy index. The RMCR value was obtained by a number of laboratory and in situ testing results which were obtained from the coal site. The objective of the RMCR is to estimate the rock mass properties for engineering purposes. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.