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SA-8000 Certification

Social Accountability

SA8000 Certification

About SA8000

SA8000–which is an acronym for “Social Accountability”–is a collection of standards that were developed by Social Accountability International (SAI), a non-governmental organization. The standards were created to protect workers’ rights and improve working conditions in factories across the world. SA8000 has been adopted by a number of large corporations, including Nike, Daimler Chrysler, Nokia, IBM, Dell and Disney.

SA8000 is a popular international certification standard, so it makes good business sense to become SA8000 certified. SA8000 Certification also requires regular audits against the standard by an external party (which can be us!), which provides an opportunity for you to know exactly where your organization stands in relation to SA8000 compliance and what help/assistance you need from us. 

What does SA8000 Cover? 

SA8000 covers 12 core labor standards, which are divided into three groups: Social Accountability (labor rights and responsibilities for workers), Organizational Sustainability (business practices and policies to improve and ensure compliance with SA8000 standards), and Consultancy Services (external assessment of independently verified audits). These standards cover all stages of manufacturing and service provision, from recruitment through to employment termination.

The 12 standards in the SA8000 Social Accountability Group (SA) are: 

  1. No Forced or Compulsory Labor 2. No Child Labor 3. Prohibition of Corporal Punishment 4. Right to Freedom of Association 5. Right to Collective Bargaining 6. Non-Discrimination & Equal Opportunity 7. Prohibition of Harassment & Discrimination 8. Work Hours & Overtime 9. Safe & Healthy Workplace 10. No Excessive or Unreasonable Working Hours 11. Access to Remedy for Injuries 12. Payment for Labour

The SA8000 Organizational Sustainability Group covers 10 business practices and policies that help improve compliance with SA8000 standards. These are not direct labor standards that must be met, but practices that help achieve compliance with the Social Accountability Group of standards. 

  1. Commitment to integrity & ethical values 2. Compliance Management System 3. Continuous Improvement 4. Maintaining Records 5. Cooperation w/ Stakeholders 6. Respect for People’s Rights 7. Ethical Business Relationships 8. Remedy & Resolving Grievances 9. Responsible Purchasing 10. Anti-Corruption

SA8000 Certification by IAS

Integrated Assessment Services Pte Ltd conducts audits against the SA8000 standard and issues certification. We have been doing this for some time now. 

The latest revision of SA8000 was published in Feb 2011, and therefore all organizations must use the current Standard from 2011 onwards. If you are interested in the standard, please download the latest version of SA8000 Standard from http://www.sa-intl.org/sa8000/SA8000_2ndedition2011.pdf

Assessment of your Organization against SA8000 is done under 4 categories: Documentation, Supporting Statements, Auditing, and Training. 

Stages in SA8000 Certification

Documentation: Sufficient documentary evidence has to be provided by the organization that it complies with the SA8000 Standard.

Verification of Core Documents: Core documents are the set of documents that are to be maintained by all organizations for assessment against SA8000. Verification can be done through support letters, e-mail, etc. Alternatively, if auditors could visit your premises or place of business then they can directly see and verify all core documents.

Assessment of Supporting Statements: Supporting statements are the core actions that an organization can implement in its processes or HR policies to comply with SA8000. For example, there is a statement on “child labor” which basically means that your child labor policy should be compliant with local laws and international instruments like ILO Convention 182. There are some 300 supporting statements in total.

Auditing: This is the most important step of all, where auditors come in and verify that your organization complies with SA8000 policies/practices by doing observed audits. The type of audit(s) conducted will depend on the size and nature of your operations (factory, retail outlets, etc).

The number of audits depends on the size and nature of your operations. The more audits you have, the better it is for you as it may give a positive impression to your customers that you are SA8000 compliant if they call for product certification by IAS.

Training: All staff at all levels will need to be trained so that they know the requirements of the standard, their roles, and their responsibilities in complying with SA8000 policies/practices. Training will be conducted by Internal Managers / HR personnel on-site or an external training provider.

Contact us at IntegrateAssessmentServices@gmail.com for more information. 

Areas addressed in SA8000:

  • Child Labor
  • Forced Labor
  • Health & Safety in Workplace
  • Discrimination at Workplace
  • Freedom of association and collective bargaining 
  • Working Hours & Wages for Adults 

& much more… (see http://www.sa-intl.org/sa8000/)

Why SA8000 Certification

The SA8000 certification system was developed to provide companies with a list of labor rights that their suppliers must respect in order to achieve this label. This way, manufacturers can make sure they comply with applicable laws and voluntarily improve working conditions throughout their supply chain.

Who is SA8000 Certification For?

SA8000 is for all organizations that manufacture products or provide services from any industry- from small family-run businesses to multinational companies. The standard applies to all stages of product and service provision, including: 

  • Training facilities for staff and clients/customers  
  • Call centers 
  • Business processing outsourced operations (BPOs)  
  • Ports where goods are loaded or unloaded for transport
  • Logistics providers and warehousing companies 
  • Consultancies and recruitment agencies 
  • Coffee shops in office buildings.

How to get the SA8000 Certification

The lead organization is IAS a which coordinates the development of SA8000, manages technical issues related to its implementation, ensures quality control, and manages the SA8000 certification process.  

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