SA8000 Certification

SA8000 Overview
SA8000 is an international standard for improving working conditions. Based on the principles of thirteen international human rights conventions, it is a tool to help apply these norms to practical work-life situations. Sufficiently specific to be used to audit companies and contractors alike in multiple industries and countries, SA8000 represents a major breakthrough: it was the first auditable social standard and creates a process that is truly independent (it is neither a government project, nor dominated by any single interest group).

To certify conformance with SA8000, every facility seeking certification must be audited. Thus auditors will visit factories and assess corporate practice on a wide range of issues and evaluate the state of a company’s management systems, necessary to ensure ongoing acceptable practices. Once an organization has implemented any necessary improvements, it can earn a certificate attesting to its compliance with SA8000. This certification provides a public report of good practice to consumers, buyers, and other companies and is intended to be a significant milestone in improving workplace conditions.

Maintaining and improving the systems put in place to achieve SA8000 certification is an ongoing process and substantive worker participation can be the best means to ensuring systemic change. The benefits of adopting SA8000 are significant and may include improved staff morale, more reliable business partnerships, enhanced competitiveness, less staff turnover and better worker-manager communication.

Process of Certification
Assessment of compliance to the SA8000 Standard and the issuance of SA8000 certifications is available only through independent organizations accredited by Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS). A facility wishing to seek certification to SA8000 must apply to a SAAS-accredited auditing firm, known as a Certification Body.

To learn more about the process of certification, please visit the SAAS website.

In order to learn more about SA8000 and the certification process, interested parties should review the SA8000 Standard, available for downloading, and the SA8000 Guidance Document, available for purchase. SAI also offers several different training courses designed for auditors, workers, managers and others interested in learning about the SA8000 certification process.

Certification under SA8000 is available to any organization. Certified workplaces are required to make public their certification and can display their certificate in a store or a factory, in company advertising, and on company stationary. A public list of certified organizations is also maintained on the SAAS website.

For questions about SA8000 certification, please contact SAAS:

Lisa Bernstein
Accreditation Manager
Phone: +1-212-684-1414, extension 204
Fax: +1-212-684-1515