Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) represent a mainstay for pluripotent stem cell research and development (R&D) and provide tangible opportunities for clinical translation including cell therapies and drug discovery. Moreover, in spite of the discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), ESCs are an essential reference point, against which other pluripotent cells are compared. Hence, there is an ongoing need to derive and bank quality-controlled research-grade and clinical-grade ESC lines using established and standardized methods. Here, we provide a concise, step-by-step protocol for the derivation of ESCs from human embryos. While largely based on previously reported method for clinical-grade human ESC (hESC) line derivation, the protocol is suitable for routine application, although adaptable for clinical-compliance.