This document provides a reference for recommended practices for characterization and documentation of active flow control actuators. The work is motivated by the need to develop a uniform, complete and objective reporting practice in the literature. The recommendations discussed herein should be tractable for experimental, computational and theoretical practitioners of active flow control. This document is not intended to impose practices of how to conduct research. Rather, it is purely a guide for reporting, such that objective and consistent evaluations/comparisons can be obtained. Some general reporting comments are provided followed by specific recommendations for both nonzero and zero net mass flux devices (both synthetic jets and plasma). Specific examples for all actuator types are not feasible, but the information and parameters presented herein are sufficiently complete to allow proper reporting for existing and new techniques that may arise in the future. It is acknowledged that reporting of every parameter discussed herein may be impractical or impossible for some actuators and researchers. However, recommendations are provided at various levels of fidelity to ensure that some measure of reporting is attainable. Finally, some comments about performance evaluation are provided, without these being the primary focus of the document. It should be noted that citations in this document are limited in an effort to present unbiased information that is based on general engineering knowledge. Note that the official best practice document is currently moving through the publication process with AIAA and will serve as the official reference once approved.