The design of composite beams to SABS 0162 is compared with other international codes. The basis of the different methods is presented and reasons for differences in approach are identified. It is shown that similar ultimate moment resistances and load capacities are achieved for full and partial shear connection, but considerable differences exist in the serviceability requirements. The specified resistance of stud shear connectors also differs and recent tests have cast doubts on the adequacy of the reduction factors that are appropriate for certain shapes of steel decks. An alternative formulation is proposed for this influence that compares favourably with the test results.