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Short descriptionSocial Accountability International (SAI) is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization that promotes the human rights of workers through the development of a voluntary standard, named SA 8000. The standard is used by governments and businesses around the world. SAI supports users who work with the standard by publishing the SA8000 Guidance Document and further development of implementation practices, training courses, local capacity building, promotion of social dialogue and corporate programs focusing on labour conditions in supply chains. Companies can have their work places certified against the standard; this, however, is the responsibility of another organization, Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS), which accredits certification firms, and which keeps records of SA8000 certified facilities.
Facts and FiguresA8000 certification details and summary statistics updated: March 29, 2017 Total Number of Employees 2,074,431 Certified Facilities 3,857 Countries Represented 67 Industries Represented 55
Key featuresThe core normative elements are derived from ILO labour standards, and include: child labour, forced labour, health and safety, freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, discrimination, discipline, working hours, wages and having a management system in place to implement the standard. SAI collaborates with relevant stakeholders and has a multi-stakeholder Advisory Board, which was closely involved with the development of the SA8000 standard, back in 1997, and has been advising the Board since then. The SA8000 standard requires that companies have a management system in place, which assures respect for human rights in the work place. In line with this ISO-like approach, companies can get certified. There is no product label.
Product specific / Process specific / Service Specific / GenericProcess specific,Generic
Last up-date in Standards MapMay 2017
Address15 West 44th Street, 6th Floor New York, NY 10036 United States
Description of geographic scopeThe SA8000 standard is applicable to organisations in any country worldwide
Source of informationThe list of SA8000 certified organisations (companies and others) and their geographical location is currently maintained by a separate organization, Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS) However, this list will also be maintained by SAI going forward.
Region - AfricaEgypt,Ethiopia,Kenya,Malawi,Mauritius,Morocco,Tunisia,United Republic of Tanzania
Region - AsiaBangladesh,Cambodia,Chinese Taipei,Hong Kong China,India,Indonesia,Iran (Islamic Republic of),Israel,Japan,Lao People's Democratic Republic,Pakistan,Philippines,Republic of Korea,Singapore,Sri Lanka,Thailand,Turkey,United Arab Emirates,Viet Nam
Region - EuropeAustria,Belgium,Bulgaria,Croatia,Czech Republic,Denmark,Finland,France,Germany,Greece,Italy,Latvia,Lithuania,Luxembourg,Netherlands,Norway,Poland,Portugal,Romania,Serbia and Montenegro,Slovakia,Spain,Sweden,Switzerland,Ukraine,United Kingdom
Region - Central AmericaCosta Rica,Guatemala,Honduras,Panama
Region - North AmericaCanada,Mexico,United States of America
Region - South AmericaArgentina,Brazil,Chile,Colombia,Peru,Venezuela
Region - Australasianull
DescriptionThe SA8000 standard is applicable to any company worldwide, across all industrial sectors with the exception of maritime, fishing, and offshore workplaces.
Step 1Contact one or several certification bodies accredited by the Social Accountability Accreditation Services Agency (SAAS) and ask them to provide a bid for certification services..
Étape 2Auditors from these certification bodies visit facilities and assess corporate practice on a wide range of criteria. The auditors also evaluate the performance of the company’s management systems to ensure the ongoing implementation of acceptable practices laid out in the SA8000 standard.
Step 3In case of compliance with the SA8000 requirements, a certificate is issued which the certified facilities are required to make public. SAAS also publishes this information on its website.
Step 4Certified companies can display their certificate, but individual products cannot be labeled as the certification represents a workplace process and not a product certification.
Step 5NA
Step 6NA
Step 7NA
Step 8NA
Step 9NA
Step 10NA
Requirement - Immediate actionSAI distinguishes “Critical”, “Major” and “Minor Non-Conformances”, with maximum corrective action terms of 1, 3 and 6 months respectively. If an auditor observes a critical non-conformance, or a major non-conformance which has not been addressed since a previous audit, the auditor shall raise a Critical Non-Conformity (CNC), which immediately results in the suspension of a company’s SA8000 Certificate.
Requirement - Witin 1 yearNot applicable.
Requirement - Witin 3 yearsNot applicable.
Requirement - Witin 5 yearsNot applicable.
RecomendationsNot applicable.
Pass or failSAI has issued an SA8000 Performance Indicator Annex (PIA) to support implementation of the SA8000:2014 and assessment of compliance against the requirements found in the Standard. It is a list of compliance indicators expected to be met by every organisation complying with the SA8000 Standard.
ScoringNot applicable.
Risk-basedNot applicable.
Traffic LightNot applicable.
Corrective ActionsOn every non-conformity the audited organization must perform a root cause analysis, and plan and take corrective and preventive action. On-site verification by the auditor is required to “close” Critical and Major Non-conformances, which must be performed within 90 days. The auditing company has a procedure to determine whether an on-site visit is required to “close” a Minor or Time-bound Non-compliance.
Major non-compliance3 months
Minor non-compliance6 months
Verification/certification costs - estimateThere are four basic types of out of pocket costs associated with •The cost associated with taking corrective and preventive action in order to qualify for compliance. After this, an organization would seek verification of its compliance. •The cost of preparing for the audit. •The cost of an independent audit by a SAAS-accredited CB. •The cost associated with taking corrective actions to resolve problems (if non-conformances have been identified). Certification costs vary depending on the certification body, as this system is a third party audit. SAI does charge a $300 for the self-assessment the facility must complete at least once every certification cycle.
Main factors of costNumber of workers,Number of production units
Responsible entity for certification costProducers / companies
External audits costsup to 2500 USD per audit
External audits corrective actionsNot applicable
Implementation costs - estimatesNo information.
Responsible entity for implementaiton costProducers
Membership fee - estimateNot applicable.
The standard initiative specifically targets some key
Target constituentSmall and medium-sized enterprises,Large-scale enterprises,Internal – suppliers/facilities,Community-based organizations
DetailsNo restriction on target groups who can use/reference the SA8000 standard, with the exception that the maritime sector is excluded from certification.
Standard documents
URL(s) where documents can be downloaded
ListSA8000 Standard 2014
Interpretation guidelines
URL(s) where documents can be downloaded
ListSA8000:2014 Guidance Document

Information last updated in the Standards Map database:

  • Social Accountability International - SA8000 - May 2017