SA 8000

the whole supply, production and distribution chain. Through ... Readiness Review’. This is an on-site visit to the organisation and lets us evaluate...

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SA 8000

Audit & Certification Services

HOW CAN YOU SHOW THAT YOU’RE fully COMMITTED TO social accountability?


With a steady rise in the number of corporate scandals, organisations recognise the need to consider the effects their activities and policies can have on their reputation and credibility in the marketplace. They need to consider the social impact of their operations, in addition to the conditions under which their employees, partners and suppliers operate. This means controlling and practicing respect and promotion of human rights for all employees throughout the whole supply, production and distribution chain. Through social audits you can demonstrate your commitment to social accountability to your employees, the public and other stakeholders. ABOUT THE STANDARD SA 8000 is an international certification standard that encourages organisations to develop, maintain and apply socially acceptable practices in the workplace. It was created in 1989 by Social Accountability International (SAI), an affiliate of the Council on Economic Priorities, and is viewed as the most globally accepted independent workplace standard. It can be applied to any company, of any size, anywhere in the world. The areas it addresses include forced and child labour, occupational health and safety, freedom of association and collective bargaining, discrimination, disciplinary practices, working hours, compensation and management systems. As well as setting workplace standards worldwide, SA 8000 also embraces existing international agreements,

including conventions from the International Labor Organization, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

THE BENEFITS SA 8000 compliance proves your commitment to social accountability and to treating your employees ethically and in compliance with global standards. At the same time, this certification can improve the management and performance of your supply chain. SA 8000 allows you to ensure compliance with global standards and reduce the risk of negligence, public exposure and possible litigation. Demonstrating commitment to social accountability can support your corporate vision and build and reinforce the loyalty of your employees, customers and stakeholders, which in turn impacts your bottom line. Certifying your organisation against SA 8000 by partnering with SGS will help you develop and improve social accountability. Your SA 8000 certificate from SGS enables you to demonstrate proper social accountability when bidding for international contracts or expanding locally to accommodate new business.

HOW DOES THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS WORK? The SA 8000 certification process consists of several steps: • Step A – SGS provides you with a proposal based on the size and nature of your organisation. You can then proceed with the audit by accepting the proposal. • Step B – You may ask SGS to perform a ‘pre-audit’ to give an indication of the readiness of your organisation for the audit. This stage is optional, yet it is often found useful

in identifying any weaknesses in your systems and in building confidence before the formal audit. • Step C – Desk Study. The objective of the case study phase is to define legislative framework and the most appropriate audit team with different skills (language, gender balance, industry experience etc.) • Step D – Stakeholder activity. Stakeholders, such as NGOs, Trade Unions, Governmental Offices and other entities are consulted in order to gather information related to the organisation’s social footprint. Stakeholders play a very important role in the monitoring activity of SA8000 certification and add more credibility to the standard and its certification mechanism. They are consulted during audit preparation and throughout the whole certification process. • Step E – The first part of the formal audit is the ‘Stage 1 – Readiness Review’. This is an on-site visit to the organisation and lets us evaluate the compliance of your documented system with the requirements of the standard to better understand the nature of your organisation, to plan the rest of the audit as effectively as possible and to initially examine key elements of the system. You will receive a report after this stage identifying any concerns or observed non-compliances so that you can take immediate action if required. • Step F – This is ‘Stage 2’ of the initial audit process. The audit includes interviews with you and your colleagues and examination of records. Observation of your working practices determines how compliant your actual processes are with the standard and with your own documentation system. At the end of this stage, we will present the findings of the

SA 8000 CERTIFICATION PROCESS Surveillance Visits typically At 6 to 12 month intervals

Assessment and certification

Step A Agree Contract

Step C

Step D*

Deskstudy activity

Stakeholder Consultation Activity

Step B Optional Pre-Audit

Step E

Step F

Stage 1 Audit

Stage 2 Audit

Certificate Issue on Completion of Successful Audit

Action and Closure of Identified Non-Conformities

Step G Surveillance Visits

Action and Closure of Identified Non-Conformities

Step H Recertification Audit

The second surveillance after certification audit shall be unannounced.

Certification Cycle Typically 3 years

* Stakeholder Consultation is a continuous activity that takes place throughout the certification process.

audit classified as either major or minor non-conformances along with other observations and opportunities for improvement. Once you have addressed the non-conformities, a technical review of the audit will then be conducted by an authorised SGS Certification Manager to confirm the issuance of a certificate. • Step G – Our surveillance visits will be scheduled at six month intervals. During the visits, we review the implementation of the action plan addressing the past non-conformities and examine certain mandatory and other selected parts of the system in line with an audit plan that we provide you before each visit. The second surveillance visit after the certification audit is unannounced. • Step H – Shortly before the third anniversary of the initial certification, our routine visit will be extended to enable a re-certification audit. Surveillance visits will then continue, as before, on a 3-year cycle.

TRAINING RELATED TO SOCIAL SYSTEMS We offer a wide variety of training courses related to social systems for all levels of ability and awareness. Our training course portfolio is designed to meet the requirements of any organisation, and includes: Introduction & Awareness to Social Systems

Social Systems Internal Auditor


Social Systems Lead Auditor

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. Recognised as the global benchmark for quality and integrity, we employ over 59 000 people and operate a network of more than 1 000 offices and laboratories around the world. We are constantly looking beyond customers’ and society’s expectations in order to deliver market leading services wherever they are needed.

Social Systems Auditor Auditor Conversion to Social Systems AA 1000 Professional Qualification Sustainability Reporting Corporate Responsibility Training Please visit to view the course schedules in your region.

OTHER SERVICES RELATED TO SA 8000 SGS is also known for its solutions against other needs related to sustainability as well as continuous improvement: • Sustainability Report Assurance: ensure that all social and environmental information published in your corporate sustainability report is accurate and correct; • Integrated Management Systems: your management systems can be audited and certified simultaneously with other management systems which you have implemented; and • Audit solutions against additional, bespoke criteria which can be either customer specific or developed with / for an association or any other third party: SGS can help develop the performance criteria and the checklist or simply check performance against existing measures.

Partnering with SGS opens the door to better performing processes, increasingly skilful talent, consistent and compliant supply chains and more sustainable customer relationships delivering profitable competitive advantage. Work with the global leader and take your commitment to the next level. We have a history of undertaking and successfully executing large-scale, complex international projects. With a presence in every single region around the globe, our people speak the language and understand the culture of the local market and operate globally in a consistent, reliable and effective manner.