In patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), renal synthesis of active vitamin D [1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)(2)D)] declines and is associated with hypocalcaemia, secondary hyperparathyroidism and the spectrum of CKD-mineral and bone disorder (MBD). In advanced CKD, active vitamin D analogues, including alfacalcidol, calcitriol and paricalcitol, are routinely administered. There are few studies on the use of vitamin D analogues in children with CKD and on dialysis. It is difficult to define bone-specific outcomes that can guide treatment with active vitamin D analogues in children with CKD-MBD. A core working group (WG) of the European Society for Paediatric Nephrology (ESPN) CKD-MBD and Dialysis WGs has developed recommendations for the use of active vitamin D therapy in children with CKD and on dialysis. A second document in parallel with this one covers treatment recommendations for native vitamin D therapy. The WGs have performed an extensive literature review to include systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials in adults and children with CKD and prospective observational studies in children with CKD. The Grading of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system was used to develop and grade the recommendations. In the absence of applicable study data, the opinion of experts from the ESPN CKD- MBD and Dialysis WGs is provided, but clearly GRADE-ed as such and must be carefully considered by the treating physician and adapted to individual patient needs as appropriate.