ICRP Publication 116 on 'Conversion coefficients for radiological protection quantities for external radiation exposures', provides fluence-to-dose conversion coefficients for organ-absorbed doses and effective dose for various types of external exposures (ICRP 2010 ICRP Publication 116). The publication supersedes the ICRP Publication 74 (ICRP 1996 ICRP Publication 74, ICRU 1998 ICRU Report 57), including new particle types and expanding the energy ranges considered. The coefficients were calculated using the ICRP/ICRU computational phantoms (ICRP 2009 ICRP Publication 110) representing the reference adult male and reference adult female (ICRP 2002 ICRP Publication 89), together with a variety of Monte Carlo codes simulating the radiation transport in the body. Idealized whole-body irradiation from unidirectional and rotational parallel beams as well as isotropic irradiation was considered for a large variety of incident radiations and energy ranges. Comparison of the effective doses with operational quantities revealed that the latter quantities continue to provide a good approximation of effective dose for photons, neutrons and electrons for the 'conventional' energy ranges considered previously (ICRP 1996, ICRU 1998), but not at the higher energies of ICRP Publication 116.