Abstract The current study attempts to recognise an adequate classification for a semi-rigid beam-to-column connection by investigating strength, stiffness and ductility. For this purpose, an experimental test was carried out to investigate the moment-rotation (M-θ) features of flush end-plate (FEP) connections including variable parameters like size and number of bolts, thickness of end-plate, and finally, size of beams and columns. The initial elastic stiffness and ultimate moment capacity of connections were determined by an extensive analytical procedure from the proposed method prescribed by ANSI/AISC 360-10, and Eurocode 3 Part 1-8 specifications. The behaviour of beams with partially restrained or semi-rigid connections were also studied by incorporating classical analysis methods. The results confirmed that thickness of the column flange and end-plate substantially govern over the initial rotational stiffness of of flush end-plate connections. The results also clearly showed that EC3 provided a more reliable classification index for flush end-plate (FEP) connections. The findings from this study make significant contributions to the current literature as the actual response characteristics of such connections are non-linear. Therefore, such semi-rigid behaviour should be used to for an analysis and design method.