The SA8000 Standard is the central document of our work at SAI. It is one of the world’s first auditable 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 companies 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. Below are the nine elements in the SA8000 Standard.
Mutual Recognition: SAI seeks to increase transparency into the SA8000 Standard and reduce the duplication of audits by increasing the recognition and acceptance of SA8000 as a high quality certification by buyers, initiatives, standard setting bodies, and others. For the results of the GSCP Equivalence Process comparison of SA8000:2008 against the GSCP Reference Code (social), please click here.
Certification: Please note that currently SA8000 certification is only available to the SA8000: 2008 Standard. Beginning May 2015 and ending May 2016, a one-year transition period will commence allowing certification to either SA8000: 2008 or SA8000: 2014. Please see the SAAS Notification: Certification of Clients to SA8000: 2014 - which details the timeline for upgrading certificates from 2008 to 2014 - here.
Beginning May 2016, certification will only be available to SA8000: 2014. Thus, as of May 2016, all certifications to SA8000: 2008 must be transitioned to SA8000: 2014. A notification will be 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.
SA8000 is a universally applicable standard and, in principle, SA8000 certification is possible in any state or industry. However, in order to maintain the Standard’s commitment to respecting the spirit and norms of ILO standards, there are several specific exceptions to SA8000 certification. Please find the list of exceptions here.
Training: Please note that currently Basic and Advanced auditor courses will be taught according to SA8000:2008, with some introductory information about SA8000:2014. In November 2014, the SA8000:2014 Revision Course - Part 1 will become available online. Beginning April 1, 2015, Basic and Advanced auditor courses will be taught according to SA8000:2014. Please see this page for a detailed explanation of changes to training courses.
SA8000:2014 Revision Process Please see this page for an overview of the SA8000:2014 revision process, which includes a Discussion and Analysis report on the Public Consultation period.
There are also a series of documents available to support auditors and implementers of the SA8000 Standard; these are:
SA8000 Standard 2014 Documents: