SA8000 is a voluntary certification that was created by an American organization called Social Accountability International (SAI) in 1997.

The purpose of this certification is to promote better working conditions for workers around the world. 

SA8000 is based on international human rights standards and covers aspects such as child labor, forced labor, health and safety, freedom of association, discrimination, working hours, remuneration, and management systems.

SA8000 is the leading social certification standard globally and can be adopted by any organization in any industry and country.

To obtain and maintain the certification, organizations must comply with the requirements of the standard and demonstrate their commitment to the fair treatment of workers through regular audits and continuous improvement.

What are the benefits of SA 8000 certification?

The SA8000 certification is applicable to any organization, regardless of its size, industry, or location. The certification is based on an international standard that covers various aspects of workers’ rights and well-being, such as health and safety, freedom of association, fair wages, and non-discrimination. By obtaining the SA8000 certification, organizations can benefit from the following:


  •  It demonstrates your commitment to social responsibility and ethical business practices.
  •  It enhances your reputation and credibility among customers, suppliers, investors and other stakeholders.
  • It improves your performance and productivity by ensuring fair and safe working conditions for your employees.
  • It reduces the risk of legal issues, fines, penalties and boycotts due to non-compliance with labor standards and human rights.
  •  It fosters a culture of trust, respect and engagement among your workforce and stakeholders.

Benefits of SA 8000 to the retailers:

  •  enhances the image and credibility as socially responsible businesses that care about the welfare of their workers and suppliers.
  •  comply with legal and ethical standards and avoid potential risks of litigation, boycotts, or negative publicity due to labor rights violations or poor working conditions.
  •  improves operational efficiency and productivity by reducing employee turnover, absenteeism, accidents, and grievances, and by increasing motivation, loyalty, and innovation.
  •  strengthens relationships with stakeholders such as customers, investors, NGOs, and governments, who may prefer or demand products and services that are certified as socially compliant.
  •  creates a competitive advantage and market differentiation by attracting and retaining conscious consumers who value quality, sustainability, and social justice.
How can organizations implement and get certified in SA8000?

Here are the main steps that organizations need to follow TO implement and get certified in SA8000:


  1. Understand the requirements of the SA8000 standard. The first step is to familiarize oneself with the SA8000 standard and its requirements. The standard can be downloaded for free from the website of Social Accountability International (SAI), the organization that developed and maintains the standard. The standard provides guidance on how to comply with each element, as well as examples of best practices and indicators of conformity.


  1. Contact a SAAS-accredited certification body. The second step is to contact a certification body that is accredited by Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS), the independent organization that oversees the accreditation and auditing of SA8000 certification bodies. The certification body will provide information on the certification process, fees, audit schedule, and audit team. The certification body will also conduct a pre-audit or gap analysis to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the organization’s social performance system.


  1. Implement the SA8000 standard. The third step is to implement the SA8000 standard in the organization’s policies, procedures, practices, and culture. This involves establishing a social performance team, conducting a social risk assessment, developing a social performance policy and objectives, setting up a worker involvement mechanism, providing training and awareness-raising activities, monitoring and measuring performance, conducting internal audits, addressing non-conformities and corrective actions, reviewing performance and improvement opportunities, and communicating with stakeholders.


  1. Undergo an external audit. The fourth step is to undergo an external audit by the certification body. The audit consists of two stages: a document review and an on-site visit. The document review verifies the adequacy of the organization’s documentation and records related to the SA8000 standard. The on-site visit verifies the implementation and effectiveness of the organization’s social performance system through interviews, observations, inspections, and sampling. The audit team will issue an audit report with findings, conclusions, and recommendations.


  1. Obtain the SA8000 certificate. The fifth step is to obtain the SA8000 certificate if the audit results are satisfactory. The certificate is valid for three years, subject to annual surveillance audits by the certification body. The certificate can be suspended or withdrawn if the organization fails to maintain compliance with the SA8000 standard or violates its terms and conditions.


  1. Maintain and improve the SA8000 system. The sixth step is to maintain and improve the SA8000 system throughout the certification cycle. This involves continuing to monitor and measure performance, conducting internal audits, addressing non-conformities and corrective actions, reviewing performance and improvement opportunities, communicating with stakeholders, undergoing surveillance audits by the certification body, and preparing for recertification audits every three years.


By following these steps, organizations can implement and get certified in SA8000 successfully. However, it is important to note that SA8000 certification is not a one-time event or a final destination. It is an ongoing journey that requires constant commitment, improvement, and verification.

If you are interested in implementing SA8000 in your organization, you can contact us for more information. We are a certified SA8000 consultant that can help you design, develop, implement, audit, and improve your asset management system. We have the expertise, experience, and tools to help you achieve your goals.