In the context of clinical trials, calibration protocols for optical instruments that ensure measurement accuracy and the ability to carry out meaningful comparisons of data acquired from multiple instruments are required. A series of calibration standards and procedures are presented to assess technical feasibility of optical devices for cervical precancer detection. Measurements of positive and negative standards, and tissue are made with two generations of research grade spectrometers. Calibration accuracy, ability of standards to correct and account for changes in experimental conditions, and device components are analyzed. The relative frequency of measured calibration standards is investigated retrospectively using statistical analysis of trends in instrument performance. Fluorescence measurements of standards and tissue made with completely different spectrometers show good agreement in intensity and lineshape. Frequency of wavelength calibration standards is increased to every to compensate for thermal drifts in grating mount. Variations in illumination energy detected between standards and patient measurements require probe redesign to allow for simultaneous acquisition of illumination power with every patient measurement. The use of frequent and well-characterized standards enables meaningful comparison of data from multiple devices and unambiguous interpretation of experiments among the biomedical optics community.