A new, very accurate (definitive) method for the determination of trace amounts of cobalt in biological materials has been devised. The method is based on combination of neutron irradiation with quantitative and selective post-irradiation separation of cobalt from all accompanying radionuclides followed by measurement by -ray spectrometry. Column chromatography in which owing to addition of Co carrier the course of separation can be followed visually is the key element of the separation scheme. Several criteria have been formulated which must be simultaneously fulfilled in order to acknowledge the result as obtained by a definitive method. The high accuracy of the method has been demonstrated by the analysis of several certified reference materials of widely different Co contents.