Any record involving the consumption of alcohol as part of drinking contests, binge drinking or speed drinking.
Guinness World Records has a strict list of record policies that must be adhered to for all our record breaking achievements.
We assess all new record titles against our values of integrity, respect, inclusiveness and passion and it is of the utmost importance to us that all our records reflect this.
As such, we have a number of internal policies that all records must adhere to. Our policies are regularly reviewed and updated in collaboration with expert organisations and based on feedback from our readers.
Please find a non-exhaustive list and details of our policies.
We do not monitor any records that could potentially endanger or harm animals. This includes any records in which the animals would have to be put to greater stress to achieve a new record, such as endurance records, or records which include any level of danger for the animal. For all animal records, the animal must do the attempt without any physical contact with their owner/trainer. Any attempts that would require physical prompts from the owner/trainer are not allowed.
Guinness World Records accepts measurements made while an animal is sedated for ‘longest tongue records’ ONLY if sedation is part of a standard medical procedure that has been recommended by a veterinary professional. Sedation of an animal for the sole purpose of record-breaking, or for any other record title will not be accepted.
Inbreeding has historically been used to exaggerate extremes in animal conformation (body shape, structure, or appearance). This practice has led to the suffering of many animals, due to their extreme conformation, which compromises welfare. Promoting sensible breeding practices ensures we maintain the health of future generations and taking a welfare-focused approach helps to eliminate health problems associated with some breed/species standards. This ensures animals lead full and pain-free lives. Society, including brands such as Guinness World Records, must accept responsibility and promote improvements in breeding practices to protect animals from exploitation.
Cosmetic procedures on animals
Any record attempts involving animals, must show the animal with a completely natural appearance and animals must not wear any attire (clothing, jewellery, collars etc.) or have received any coat modifications (dying, painting etc.) beyond standard grooming. Guinness World Records hold the right to reject any claims made where an animal displays the following cosmetic alterations; ear cropping, taping & splinting, tail docking, debarking and declawing. Historical justifications (rescued animals, medical interventions, licenced working animals) can be given and verified by the attending veterinarian, but acceptance of an application is at the final discretion of Guinness World Records. Alterations made by a breeder before the purchase of an animal, or ‘breed standards’ will not be accepted as reasonable justification.
Guinness World Records recognises claims for ‘Heaviest fish caught’ retrospectively, within federated competitions, verified by the International Game Fish Association. Claims made outside of federated fishing competition will not be accepted, and Guinness World Records holds the right to reject any claims made without suitable verification or association rules and regulations.
Guinness World Records will not monitor any records involving unsuitable activities or those which could cause potential harm or danger to spectators.
Such as largest release of party balloons, sky lanterns, etc. are no longer monitored.
We do not monitor any records for excessive eating records. All of our eating records showcase the skill of speed eating only and as such are limited to short time periods and small quantities of food, such as fastest time to eat three cream crackers.
We require any record relating to food to follow strict policies regarding food consumption and donation.
We require all our records involving larger quantities of food to adhere to the following rules:
- The challenger must demonstrate that the food has been prepared according to local food hygiene standard laws - for example, by preparing the food in the presence of an appropriate inspector.
- The food needs to be kept in hygienic conditions throughout the attempt of the record. This must be confirmed by the inspector, who must state in their report that the food was safe to eat at the point at which the food was distributed.
- Where the food is prepared in a commercial kitchen, copies of the food hygiene certification of that kitchen must be provided.
- After the attempt, the food items must be divided and distributed or donated for general consumption by humans. It is the responsibility of the challenger to demonstrate to Guinness World Records that all efforts to distribute the food to humans have been taken.
- Prior to the attempt, the challenger must submit their plans for food distribution to Guinness World Records for pre-approval.
Any records relating to the processing of meat/seafood must follow strict policies regarding animal welfare. We require all our records involving meat/seafood products to adhere to the following rules:
- No live animals are to be consumed or killed during a record attempt.
- Any meat/seafood products used must be commercially available.
- Any meat/seafood products used must be processed/dead/pre-cooked prior to the attempt taking place.
Guinness World Records will not endorse or permit Illegal activities in pursuit of record breaking. Any record attempt proven to occur outside of the local law would be disqualified.
Guinness World Records will not process inappropriate or offensive applications.
Guinness World Records does not monitor any medical testing records that involve the skin being pierced, or an examination in which a device enters the body beyond what is reasonably comfortable. This includes any tests which require a needle; or an internal physical examination.
Guinness World Records is an apolitical organisation, determined to protect the integrity of our records by remaining politically neutral. Therefore, we do not accept record applications which we consider to be politically motivated and we reserve the right to reject or cancel a record application should we deem it to promote a political agenda.
Positive action can be described as the implementation of measures to increase representation and participation amongst underrepresented groups of people.
To GWR, that means ensuring our record titles are as inclusive as possible. Where a case for positive action can be made, GWR will therefore consider record titles, timeframes and other factors outside of our standard criteria. Typically, this would see us create a new record title with an impairment classification which would usually be unavailable to a non-impaired person, as a means of encouraging greater interest and participation in record-breaking from individuals with a physical, visual or intellectual impairment.
Guinness World Records tries to include as wide a variety of activities as possible to appeal to different age groups, and concentrate on absolute records, rather than those that are qualified in some way.
GWR may decide to implement a reasonable adjustment to record guidelines or evidence requirements to level the playing field and ensure that an impaired person is not at a disadvantage to someone who is not impaired when attempting a Guinness World Records title.
For example, we may allow adapted equipment or extended rest breaks if required, allowing a participant to attempt their chosen record title under the appropriate conditions for their impairment.
Guinness World Records no longer accepts applications or creates new record titles that are related to the consumption, preparation or use of tobacco, cannabis or nicotine products.
It is not permitted for individuals under the age of 16 to attempt or hold records which are considered unsuitable for minors. Anyone between the age of 16-18 must provide consent from a parent/guardian to attempt these records.
- Under 16’s in Sport - Guinness World Records does not monitor free weight or body weight exercises which are repetitive in nature over time frame. Anyone between the age of 16-18 must provide consent from a parent/guardian to attempt these records.
The principle of voluntary participation requires that people must not be coerced into participating in a record attempt. However, participants may be recompensed for their expense, time, and inconvenience.
Participants at Guinness World Records events must take part of their own free will. Organisers must ensure that all participants are full informed about the record they are taking part in.