SA8000® Standard and Documents

The SA8000 Standard is the central document of our work at SAI. It is one of the world’s firstauditable social certification standards for decent workplaces, across all industrial sectors. It is based on the UN Declaration of Human Rights, conventions of the ILO, UN and national law, and spans industry and corporate codes to create a common language to measure social performance.  

It takes a management systems approach by setting out the structures and procedures that organisations must adopt in order to ensure that compliance with the standard is continuously reviewed. Those seeking to comply with SA8000 have adopted policies and procedures that protect the basic human rights of workers. 

As the creator and owner of the SA8000 Standard, SAI has produced a series of documents available to support auditors and implementers of the SA8000 Standard. The documents meant to clarify the interpretation and implementation of the Standard itself for end-users (current and applicant SA8000 certified organisations); these are:


SA8000:2014 Standard Documents:


SA8000:2008 Standard Documents:

Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS) Procedures

As SA8000 is a third-party certification system, SAI works closely with SAAS to develop system requirements to encourage good practice among the accredited certification bodies. SAAS has publicly released the following SA8000:2014 Certification and Accreditation Process documents that outline the procedures and requirements to audit the SA8000 system:

  1. Procedure 200:2015: Audit Requirements for the SA8000 Program
  2. Procedure 200A:2016: Audit Requirements for Social Fingerprint
  3. Procedure 201A:2015: Accreditation Requirements for SA8000:2014 Certification Audits
  4. Procedure 201B:2015: Competence Requirements for SA8000 Personnel
  5. SAAS Notification 4A: Certification of Clients to SA8000:2014, revised
  6. SAAS Notification 4B: SA8000:2014 Training Requirements
  7. SAAS Notification 4C: Transition Process for CBs
  8. SAAS Notification 4D: Acknowledgement of Receipt of Procedures

These documents can be downloaded directly from SAAS's document library here

Certification Transition Timeline

Beginning January 1, 2016 and ending June 30, 2017, a transition period will commence allowing certification to either SA8000:2008 or SA8000:2014. Please see the SAAS Notification 4A: Certification of Clients to SA8000:2014 - which details the timeline for upgrading certificates from 2008 to 2014 - here

As of May 16, 2016, all new certifications will only be available to SA8000:2014.
SAI and SAAS has extended the timeline mandating new certifications to SA8000:2014 for 6 weeks. No other date has been changed.

As of June 30, 2017, all current certifications to SA8000:2008 must be transitioned to SA8000:2014.

A notification has been sent to Certification Bodies by Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS) detailing the steps that need to be taken in order to be qualified to perform SA8000:2014 certification audits.

Updated SA8000 Training

Please note that SAI has updated our Basic and Advanced Auditor Course curriculum according to the SA8000:2014 Standard.

The SA8000:2014 Revision Webinar - Part 1 and SA8000:2014 Revision Webinar - Part 2: Social Fingerprint are currently available for all auditors to update their qualifications to audit against the 2014 Standard.

Please see the SAAS Notification 4B: SA8000:2014 Training Requirements for a detailed explanation of changes to training courses.

Enroll in the revision webinars here.

SA8000 System Feedback

If you have any feedback regarding the interpretation or implementation of the any of the documents (such as questions or best practices you've seen or implemented), please complete this form here. As questions are collected, SAI will review the questions with Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS), our expert field staff, and our multi-stakeholder Advisory Board as necessary. The questions and clarifications will be published on a quarterly basis in SAI's e-newsletter and on our website.

If your question about the SA8000 system is urgent, please contact us directly at