All skills submitted to Alexa must adhere to our content guidelines outlined below.
- Policy examples
- 1. Trademarks, intellectual property, and brands
- 2. Child-Directed Alexa skills
- 3. Health
- 4. Skill recommendations, compensation, and purchasing
- 5. Advertising
- 6. Pornography and sex
- 7. Violence
- 8. Religion, ethnicity, and culture
- 9. Emergency services (Telecommunications)
- 10. Content
- 11. General
- 12. Web search skills
- 13. Financial skills
- 14. Invocation name requirements
- Content ratings
- Certification requirements
- Next steps
The following list shows specific examples that we look out for when evaluating whether a skill can be made available on Alexa. The list is not exhaustive, and the guidelines may change over time when new issues arise. Some categories of skills have additional eligibility requirements.
If Amazon determines that your skill contains, facilitates, or promotes content that is prohibited by these policy guidelines, we will reject or suspend the submission and notify you using the e-mail address associated with your developer account.
Your skill will be rejected or suspended if it:
1. Trademarks, intellectual property, and brands
a. Implies sponsorship or endorsement by Amazon or otherwise mischaracterizes the relationship with Amazon. Examples are (but not limited to), using "Alexa" in a subdomain or domain root of URLs that the skill references, or referring to a skill as an "Alexa skill" in the format "[SKILL NAME] Alexa skill."
b. Uses the image or likeness of an Amazon device as part of the skill icon.
c. Infringes the intellectual property rights (including copyright, trademark and publicity rights) of a third party.
d. Purports to be affiliated with a company or brand but is not the official skill of that company or brand.
If your skill makes legitimate use of trademarks, intellectual property, or brands, you must clearly indicate that you have permission to use these, and provide proof, when you submit your skill for certification. In the developer console, go to Distribution > Privacy & Compliance and use the Testing Instructions form to provide this information, including external links to documentation evidencing your right to use the intellectual property (such as proof of trademark registration or a license agreement with the rights owner) and contact information, if needed. With this information, the certification team will be able to determine if your skill has the necessary permissions.
2. Child-Directed Alexa skills
a. Is directed to children under the age of 13 (if distributed in the US, India, or Canada) or 16 (if distributed in the UK, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, or Australia), or interacts with any user accounts or profiles that you maintain for children under those ages, and any of the following is true of your skill: (1) it is a custom skill and you are not an Amazon-approved developer, (2) it promotes any products, content, or services, or directs end users to engage with content outside of Alexa, (3) it sells any physical products or services, (4) it sells any digital products or services without using Amazon In-Skill Purchasing, (5) it collects any personal information from end users, (6) has account linking, (7) it includes recommendations for skills not directed to children, or (8) it includes content not suitable for all ages.
a. Collects information relating to any person's physical or mental health or condition, the provision of health care to a person, or payment for the same. We might allow skills that collect this information in some countries and regions.
b. Claims to provide life-saving assistance through the skill or in the skill name, invocation name or skill description
c. Contains false or misleading claims in the responses, description, invocation name, or home card regarding medicine, prescription drugs or other forms of treatment. This includes claims that a treatment can cure all diseases or specific incurable diseases. A claim can be misleading if relevant information is left out or if it suggests something that's not true.
d. Provides information about black market sale of prescription drugs.
e. Provides information on drug dosage, usage, or administration; unless you can show that you are affiliated with, or acting at the direction of, the manufacturer of the drug.
- If your skill provides information on drug dosage, usage, or administration your skill must meet each of the following criteria:
- Developer will provide Alexa the source of the drug dosage & administration guidance data to be used in the skill in the testing instructions.
- Developer will provide disclaimer and at invocation similar to “This skill does not provide medical advice, and is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Call your clinician to receive medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, please dial your local emergency response phone number.”
- When a user makes a request for drug dosage guidance prescribed by their clinician, account linking is required in the skill authentication to establish the relationship and provide the user with specific dosing information.
- When user makes a request for drug dosage guidance skill will confirm precise drug name and dosage.
- When user makes a request for drug dosage guidance skill will precisely define the unit of dose (e.g. “pills”, “milliliters”, and “puffs”).
- When user makes a request for drug administration guidance, skill must send label information to Alexa app on a home card and Customer must confirm receipt of label information either by voice or clicking on home card or multi modal screen. Developer must accommodate users who are unable to access information through the multi-modal experience including access to their drug specific website.
- Skill must provide educational materials about other treatment options that are also FDA approved for the label-indicated health condition (e.g., generics available; consultation with clinician).
- If your skill provides information on drug dosage, usage, or administration prescribed by a clinician please proceed to our Requirements for Skills that are HIPAA-Eligible.
f. Is a skill that provides health-related information, news, facts or tips and does not include a disclaimer in the skill description stating that the skill is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Example: "This tool does not provide medical advice, and is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Call your doctor to receive medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, please dial your local emergency response phone number." We may also require certain skills to provide a voice disclaimer.
4. Skill recommendations, compensation, and purchasing
a. Offers a separate skill store.
b. Recommends other skills that aren't owned by the same developer.
c. Recommends skills in Alexa's voice.
d. Recommends other skills in notifications and/or reminders.
e. Offers compensation for enabling other skills, or for providing product reviews on skills. Skills cannot require or suggest that users must leave a review to keep the skill free. Examples of compensation might include digital goods, physical goods, or monetary transactions.
f. Solicits donations from end users. If your Alexa skill solicits donations for a charity or sells digital products or services for the benefit of a charity, visit Alexa Donations with Amazon Pay.
g. Uses Alexa for Apps in a way that violates other app stores' terms and conditions.
h. Doesn't meet the following criteria:
- In-Skill Purchasing must be used if the skill allows users to purchase digital products or services within your skill, such as premium features or other digital content to be used on Alexa.
- Paid skills must be used if the skill requires an up-front payment to access the digital skill content.
- All skills that make any products, content, or services available for purchases must meet the requirements published here.
a. Includes or otherwise surfaces advertising or promotional messaging in skill responses, notifications, or reminders. There are specific exceptions we will allow in skill responses:
- Streaming music, streaming radio, podcast, and flash briefing skills may include audio advertisements as long as (1) the advertisements do not use Alexa's voice, Amazon Polly voices, or a similar voice, refer to Alexa, or imitate Alexa interactions and (2) the skill does not include more or materially different advertising than is included when the same or similar content is made available outside of Alexa.
- Skills that allow customers to order products or services may include audio messaging promoting those products or services.
- Skills may include audio messaging informing customers of promotional offers or deals in response to specific requests from customers.
- Skills that are specifically designed to promote a product or service may include audio messaging promoting that product or service.
- Skills may use Alexa for Apps to promote products or services in response to specific requests from customers but cannot accompany responses with unsolicited promotions or direct marketing.
We reserve the right to reject or suspend any skill that includes advertising or promotional messaging we determine is misleading or confusing, results in a poor customer experience, or is otherwise inappropriate.
6. Pornography and sex
a. Has sexually explicit content and/or home card has images that contain sexually explicit material.
a. Contains graphic depictions or descriptions of extreme gore, decapitations, unsettling content, and/or excessive violence.
b. Promotes organized crime, terrorism, or other illegal activities meant to undermine local and/or national governments or police.
8. Religion, ethnicity, and culture
a. Includes references to or information regarding forced marriages or purchasable husbands and/or wives.
b. Purports to be able to predict gender.
c. Contains derogatory comments or hate speech specifically targeting any group or individuals.
d. Contains content that references or promotes out-of-context quotations that mislead about the intentions of the figure being quoted.
e. Contains or references Nazi symbols or other symbols of hate, promotes hate speech, incites racial or gender hatred, or promotes groups or organizations which support such beliefs such as the Ku Klux Klan.
9. Emergency services (Telecommunications)
a. Allows the user to contact emergency responders (e.g. 911, or other emergency response products and services).
a. Contains references and/or promotes illegal downloading of torrents or pirated software.
b. Contains specific advice on how to join an illegal organization.
c. Provides advice on how to begin or be involved in an illegal lifestyle, such as prostitution.
d. Gives guidance on how create or build dangerous materials (e.g., how to build a bomb, silencer, meth lab, etc.)
e. Promotes or praises terrorism, including detailing specific tactics or recruiting new members for terrorist groups.
f. Promotes use, sale, or distribution of recreational or illegal drugs.
g. Enables end users to engage in gambling to win real money prizes or other tangible prizes that have an actual cash value.
h. Promotes the sale or use of tobacco products and related paraphernalia, including e-cigarettes, or the underage use of such products.
i. Promotes the excessive use of alcohol or underage use of alcohol.
j. Contains excessive profanity.
k. Contains false or misleading content.
l. Does not demonstrate reasonable sensitivity towards sensitive events, such as disasters or conflicts.
a. Lacks an Alexa supported language product description, invocation name, or title.
b. Responses, metadata, and/or home card content are presented in a language that is not supported by Alexa. If the skill functions in an Alexa unsupported language, there are specific exceptions we will allow:
- Skills that assist with learning languages or that provide translation functionality.
- Skills that support religious or spiritual texts.
c. Contains profanity aimed at children.
d. Contains malicious functionality, or is a prank skill that does not disclose its prank functionality in its product description.
e. Contains unmoderated user generated content.
f. References, replicates, or otherwise portrays the Alexa personality in a way that could create confusion with an official Amazon experience.
g. Exposes the Amazon-assigned name of Amazon Polly voices. Available Amazon Polly voices for use with Alexa may be found at Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) Reference–Voice.
h. Explicitly requests that users leave a positive rating of the skill (note that skills may encourage customers to review or rate their skill, but cannot explicitly request a positive rating).
i. Uses Alexa emotions or similar features to provoke distress or concern among users.
12. Web search skills
a. Allows customers to search web content and does not meet all of the following requirements:
- The skill must search within a specific online resource, and cannot do a general web search.
- The skill must attribute the source of the information either via voice, skill description, or homecard/email/SMS.
- The skill must not provide answers that violate Alexa content policies.
13. Financial skills
a. Fails to provide disclaimer around timeliness of stock quotes, if stock quotes are presented.
b. Accesses or provides access to personal financial information, and either fails to meet financial skill guidelines or is intended for distribution outside of the US. If you are interested in creating a financial or banking skill in the US, please reach out for additional information here.
14. Invocation name requirements
a. Does not adhere to our Invocation Name Requirements. Please consult these requirements to ensure your skill is compliant with our invocation name policies.
Skills that pass certification, but are not suitable for all ages, are assigned Mature or Guidance Suggested ratings. These ratings are displayed on the skill's detail page in the skill store. The criteria for these ratings is described below.
The content of this skill is only appropriate for mature users. This skill may include:
- Frequent or graphic realistic, cartoon, or fantasy violence or descriptions of violence
- Frequent or explicit references to or images of drugs, alcohol, tobacco
- Frequent profanity or crude humor, including insult humor or humor with the intent to offend
- Simulated gambling or references to casinos and gambling culture
The content of this skill is appropriate for most users. This skill may include:
- Account linking
- User-generated content
- Personal information collection
- Location detection or location-based services
- Nudity or descriptions of nudity within medical, informational or artistic contexts
- Infrequent or mild references to cultural or religious intolerance
- Infrequent or mild realistic, cartoon, or fantasy violence or descriptions of violence
- Infrequent or mild references to alcohol, tobacco and drugs
- Infrequent or mild sexual and suggestive themes
- Infrequent use of mild profanity and crude humor
- Music and video skills may occasionally include strong profanity and sexual or suggestive themes
All skills submitted to the Alexa Skills Program must adhere to our content guidelines and meet the other requirements described in the following Next Steps. If Amazon determines that a skill contains, facilitates, or promotes content that is prohibited by these guidelines or otherwise fails to meet our requirements, Amazon will reject the skill submission or suspend further distribution of your skill. If this occurs, we will notify you at the email address associated with your developer account with the specific reason for the action taken. Repeated or serious violations of these guidelines or the Amazon Developer Services Agreement – such as malware, fraud, and skills that might cause user or device harm – might result in termination of your developer account.
Amazon reserves the right to make the final determination on what skills are available in the Alexa Skills Program. Factors we consider include compliance with the Content Policies, as well as ensuring relevant selection, and risk of abuse or customer harm.
- 2. Security Testing
- 3. Functional Testing
- 4. Voice Interface and User Experience Testing
- See also: Additional Distribution Policies
- Go back to: Submitting an Alexa Skill for Certification.
- Return to: Steps to Build a Custom Skill
Last updated: Apr 07, 2021