Lucanus cervus is one of the most charismatic saproxylic beetles, widely distributed in Europe. The species is typical of mature deciduous forests, especially oak woodlands. Loss and fragmentation of suitable habitats is one of the major threats for this species which is included in Annex II of the Habitats Directive. Despite several studies carried out in the last years for the monitoring methods of the species, an analytical comparison between them is still lacking. The aims of this paper are (i) to review the current knowledge about systematics, ecology and conservation practices on L. cervus and (ii) to present the research carried out during the Life MIPP project, in order to define a standard monitoring method with a suitable protocol to be used for addressing the obligations of the Habitats Directive. Overall, five methods were tested during three years in two different study areas. Based on these results, a suitable standard method for L. cervus is proposed in this paper and, in order to assess the conservation status of populations and to compare them over time, a simple method for the calculation of a reference value is provided.