Understanding guidelines

Each and every record monitored at Guinness World Records has a set of specific guidelines. Our guidelines detail the rules that must be followed when attempting the record and the evidence that must be provided. The guidelines ensure that the record is standardisable and verifiable. In other words the guidelines tell you how it needs to be done and what you need to submit to us in order to prove it! 

It is vital that your guidelines are read before your record attempt. We also have a Guide To Your Evidence document which supports your guidelines and will provide further guidance on the evidence needed to verify your attempt. 

The guidelines you receive are unique to your record. All stated rules must be followed and all evidence must be submitted in order to become a Guinness World Records title holder.

Largest human mattress dominoes

Where can I find my guidelines? 

You will find your guidelines on your application page, these will appear as a link below the current record title and above the current record. Select the link to view your guidelines.

Where to find your guidelines

What do each of the guideline sections mean? 

Your guidelines consist of five different sections:

1. Legal Notice

When you open up your guidelines you will see a legal notice. This is very important information that must be read and understood fully before you choose to proceed with your record attempt.  See an extract below.

This document acts as a guide to the specific considerations and undertakings for your potential record attempt and is to be used in conjunction with the Guide to Your Evidence, which outlines the evidence we require to verify the success of your record attempt.These guidelines should be read and understood by all concerned with the record attempt prior to the attempt – this includes every participant, organiser and witness.

These guidelines are specific to your record attempt and must be followed. Should any part of these guidelines be contravened, your record attempt will be disqualified, without any right of appeal.

Additionally, these guidelines in no way provide any kind of safety advice and cannot be construed as providing any comfort that the record attempt is free from risk.

Guinness World Records accepts no responsibility for the safety of participants or bystanders in any record attempt. It is your sole responsibility to ensure that (a) all necessary safety precautions are in place and that all equipment used is suitable and thoroughly checked prior to the record attempt taking place and (b) you are in compliance with all applicable health and safety laws and regulations.

If you are attempting a record online using a non-GWR website, GWR is not responsible for the content of that platform or anything that may happen, including technical issues, during your attempt.

If you are organising a record attempt in association with an alcoholic brand you must seek explicit written permission in advance from GWR, otherwise your record may not be approved. Please send your requests to GWR using the Correspondence section in your online application.

If you are organising an online record attempt which may involve the consumption of alcohol, the following additional requirements must be met:

  • The platform where the record attempt is to take place must include a responsible drinking message.
  • Age restriction, targeting or affirmation technologies should be used, where available, to restrict access to users of legal purchase age or over.
  • The record attempt must not be advertised in a manner which appeals to minors, encourages irresponsible drinking or offensive behaviour, or challenges participants to consume an alcoholic beverage.

The above guidance does not constitute legal advice and does not extinguish or dilute your contractual obligations to GWR.

If upon reviewing your evidence it becomes clear that any one of the above measures has not been adhered to, GWR reserves the right to disqualify the record attempt.

Finally, the provision of these guidelines in no way constitutes GWR’s consent for you to undertake a record attempt. Any record attempt will only be considered to be authorised by us where you have signed our standard agreement in relation to record attempts.

2. Record definition

This will provide you with the answers to the following 4 questions: 

  • What is the record for?
  • Who can attempt the record?
  • How is the record measured?
  • How is the subject of the record defined?

Here is an example of a Record definition (for the Most skips in one minute):

Record definition

  • This record is for the most skips over a rope in one minute
  • It is to be attempted by an individual
  • It is measured by the number of skips over the rope in one minute

3. Record guidelines

This section is the list of rules unique to your specific record, the points here will give you specific guidance on how to attempt the record. Please be aware that there are more rules found below in the category guidelines. The rules are listed by number but all are as important as each other and each and every one must be followed.

Rules for Most skips in one minute

  1. The rope used may be of any material or length as long as it meets standards of a regulation jump rope.
  2. The attempt must take place on a flat, non-sprung surface.
  3. Guinness World Records recommends that an electronic or mechanical device be used to count the number of times the participant jumps over the rope. The device used would have to be approved by GWR prior to the attempt. In the absence of an electronic or mechanical device, the number of revolutions must be counted by two spotters. A letter of verification from each of the spotters must be submitted with the rest of the documentation.
  4. One skip is calculated by a full 360 degree revolution. If the participant fails to leap over the rope in any form, i.e. by missing or stopping the rope, that revolution will not count in the accumulated total in the minute.
You may also find that your guidelines refer to an image as Fig 1., Fig 2. Etc. you will find these images at the bottom of your guidelines.

4. Category guidelines

The category guidelines contain the rules and evidence requirements for all records of that format. For example the rules that must be followed for all attempts made in one minute, or our standard rules and evidence requirements for large food items.

So remember the Category Guidelines include ALL general points and ALL evidence requirements, so they are very different from the Record guidelines, which only include points that are specific to your record title only.

The Category Guidelines are split into three sections:

  1. Title

    The category guidelines title will indicate to you the record format. You do not need to worry about this. For example:

    Rules for all ‘largest manufactured items’ records.

  2. Category rules

    You will then see the sentence ‘Please make sure you follow ALL these rules:’. The rules in this section are guideline point/rules that are applicable to all records within the same format. These points are listed using lower case letters (a. b. c. etc.). For example:

    Category rules
  3. Evidence

    You will then see the evidence section, which is introduced by the following sentence: ‘Please make sure you supply the following evidence:’

    These points are listed using bullet points and they list what evidence you must supply to enable us to verify your record attempt. Each piece of evidence is underlined and then repeated in the checklist.

    An example of Category Guidelines- Evidence:


    You will also see a reference to the Guide to Your Evidence document. This document is a crucial document and explains in detail our evidence. For example you will find information on who can act as an independent witness, what we count as independent etc. You will also find templates that can be used to create your evidence documents for example for a witness statement.

5. Evidence checklist

The final section of the guidelines is the evidence checklist. This provides you with a checklist of items that Guinness World Records requires. You’ll find the information on each item in the evidence section of the category guidelines and further guidance in the Guide To Your Evidence document. It is important that you have ALL items on your evidence checklist before you submit your evidence for review. Otherwise you risk your evidence review being delayed or rejected.

Evidence checklist

How to print your guidelines

You will find in the top right hand corner of the screen a button to convert your guidelines into a PDF document. This will create a printable format. Remember that the guidelines need to be shared and read by the participants and those involved in the verification process such as the Independent witnesses so this function will allow you to do this.

Save PDF

Guide To Your Evidence

View our Guide To Your Evidence where you will find further information on the Evidence we require to verify your record attempt. You will also find templates for evidence such as the cover letter, witness statements and log books.

What if I have questions about my guidelines?

If you have any questions about your guidelines you will be able to ask these direct to the Records Management Team through the correspondence function.