Purpose Reliable dose estimation is an important factor in appropriate dosimetric triage categorization of exposed individuals to support radiation emergency response. Materials and Methods Following work done under the EU FP7 MULTIBIODOSE and RENEB projects, formal methods for defining uncertainties on biological dose estimates are compared using simulated and real data from recent exercises. Results The results demonstrate that a Bayesian method of uncertainty assessment is the most appropriate, even in the absence of detailed prior information. The relative accuracy and relevance of techniques for calculating uncertainty and combining assay results to produce single dose and uncertainty estimates is further discussed. Conclusions Finally, it is demonstrated that whatever uncertainty estimation method is employed, ignoring the uncertainty on fast dose assessments can have an important impact on rapid biodosimetric categorization.