The Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (GLASS) is being developed to support the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and should be coordinated within the national action plans of countries. The goal of GLASS is to enable standardised, comparable and validated data on AMR to be collected, analysed and shared with countries, in order to inform decision-making, drive local, national and regional action and provide the evidence base for action and advocacy. GLASS combines patient, laboratory and epidemiological surveillance data to enhance understanding of the extent and impact of AMR on populations. In view of the challenges of collecting all these data, countries should consider gradual implementation of the surveillance standards proposed in this manual on the basis of their priorities and resources. This manual focuses on early implementation of GLASS, comprising surveillance of resistance in common human bacterial pathogens. The intended readership of this publication is national public health professionals and national health authorities responsible for surveillance of antibacterial resistance in humans. This manual describes the GLASS standards and a road map for evolution of the system between 2015 and 2019. Further development of GLASS will be based on the lessons learnt during this period.