What is SA 8000 / ISO 26000
SA 8000 certification enables you to demonstrate your commitment to social accountability standards as well as employee and customer satisfaction.
SA 8000 is an international certification standard that encourages organizations 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 labor, health and safety, freedom of association and collective bargaining, discrimination, disciplinary practices, working hours, compensation and management systems.
As well as setting standards for employees 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.
SA8000- Demonstration(Certification) Process
The SA8000 provides two separate ways for companies looking forward to demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility.
The first way is taking membership. This is designed for businesses that are doing retailing. The organization has to give commitment to do business only with socially responsible suppliers.
SA8000 members are offered a self-assessment package and other tools to help them implement a policy on social responsibility. They are expected to notify their suppliers of their intention to implement SA8000 standards, and to set a timeframe for phasing out dealings with companies that fail to meet those requirements.
Member companies are also required to produce an annual report describing their SA8000 objectives, and outlining progress that has been made towards those goals. These reports are verified by SAI(Social Accountability International).
The second way is certification. It is intended for manufacturers and suppliers themselves. The process is a stringent one, which begins with the company contacting an accredited auditor. Having demonstrated compliance with existing regulations and assessed how current practice compares with the provisions of SA8000, the company is given the status of 'SA8000 applicant'.
The business then implements an SA8000 programme, which is scrutinized by a 'pre-assessment audit'. Any improvements that are recommended should be implemented before the formal audit takes place.
After the formal assessment, the company is again given the opportunity to rectify any shortcomings, before being assessed again. If at the end of this process the auditors are satisfied that the company is fully compliant, they will recommend an SA8000 certificate, valid for three years.
Why was SA 8000 developed?
- Consumers and other stakeholders have become increasingly concerned about whether products have been manufactured under conditions of violation of human rights, child labor and discrimination – as often reported by the media.
- The existing management of many companies cannot adequately cope with the myriad demands imposed by labour laws, codes of conduct of individual companies, as well as their stakeholders.
- A greater challenge is to effectively monitor whether the manufacturers and suppliers have implemented
Who develops SA 8000?
- SA 8000 is developed by the SAI - Social Accountability International (formerly known as CEPAA - Council on Economic Priorities Accreditation Agency), an affiliate of the Council on Economic Priorities (CEP)
- Founded in 1969, CEP is a public service research organization in New York; its mission is to provide accurate & impartial analysis of companies’ social performance
- SAI was established in early 1997. It convened a group of experts for an AdvISOry Board. The Board is responsible for drafting the SA 8000 standard, as well as providing direction and recommendation regarding the function, operation and policy of SAI.
- SAI’s AdvISOry Board includes representatives from unions, organizations for human rights and children’s rights, academia, retailers, manufacturers, contractors, non-governmental organizations, consultants, accounting firms, as well as certification bodies.
- Members of the SAI AdvISOry Board do not represent the interests of particular organizations; they have been appointed for their experience and knowledge of particular sectors. This is to ensure that the interests of different sectors are appropriately represented, thereby enabling the AdvISOry Board to maintain a balanced view
ISO 26000 is to be a guidance standard for social responsibility | accountability. While ISO 26000 focus is alignment with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, is a guidance standard not intended for certification. Guide ISO 26000 (2010) is to apply to all types of entities including industry, private, and even government.
- Development of an International Standard that address social accountability responds to:
- The importance and success that ISO standards are bringing to the private and public sectors,
- The need of a standard contributing to infrastructure from an international perspective in which over 150 member countries can contribute and agree,
- Why not presenting ISO 26000 as a certifiable standard?
⇒ ISO 9001 QMS standards focus on customer satisfaction and to meet the needs of interested parties, and ISO 14001 EMS standards focus to systematically identify and improve through environmental responsibility by addressing environmental aspects in benefit of interested parties. Both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 are relevant to social responsibility | accountability, since both standards focus on the needs of interested parties (stakeholders). Then this leaves open for certification bodies to establish Social Accountability verification and validated protocols, such as SA8000 and equivalent or similar others.
- The intent of the Social Responsibility | Accountability standard Guide ISO 26000 (2010) is to: s
⇒ Assist organizations in identifying, establishing, implementing and acting over those social aspects for which is accountable in view of legal expectations and in protection of interested parties,
⇒ Propitiate guidance that relates to the previous,
⇒ Helps organizations to identify and engage with stakeholders, and
⇒ Provide a basis for the credibility of reports and claims made regarding social responsibility | accountability
⇒ s the intent that ISO 26000 be a basis to establish fundamental performance and from thereon to improve. ISO 26000 will reference statutory, legal and regulatory requirements as well as expectations from concern parties. For certification verify SRA (social responsibility accountability based Guide ISO 26000 through many certification bodies ).
- Expectations are that ISO 26000 will help companies to identify areas to improve from a basic fundamental management system and demonstrate their commitment to society. And if operational activities or instances where there is no compliance to legal, statutory, requirements and including possibly expectations top management is accountable, It is top management to define, plan, act and verify effectiveness.
Benefits of SA 8000 certification / ISO 26000
Initial evidence indicates that SA8000 certified facilities enjoy a competitive advantage and workers experience concrete benefits as the SA8000 management system and any needed corrective actions are put in place.
Benefits for Workers, Trade Unions and NGOs:
Enhanced opportunities to organize trade unions and bargain collectively.
- A tool to educate workers about core labor rights.
- An opportunity to work directly with business on labor rights issues.
- A way to generate public awareness of companies committed to assuring humane working conditions.
Benefits for Business:
- Drives company values into action.
- Enhances company and brand reputation.
- Improves employee recruitment, retention and productivity.
- Supports better supply chain management and performance.
Benefits for Consumers and Investors:
- Clear and credible assurance for ethical purchasing decisions.
- Identification of ethically made products and companies committed to ethical sourcing.
- Broad coverage of product categories and production geography.
Child Labor: No workers under the age of 15; minimum lowered to 14 for countries operating under the ILO Convention 138 developing-country exception; remediation of any child found to be working
Forced Labor: No forced labor, including prISOn or debt bondage labor; no lodging of deposits or identity papers by employers or outside recruiters
Health and Safety: Provide a safe and healthy work environment; take steps to prevent injuries; regular health and safety worker training; system to detect threats to health and safety; access to bathrooms and potable water
Freedom of Association and Right to Collective Bargaining: Respect the right to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively; where law prohibits these freedoms, facilitate parallel means of association and bargaining
Discrimination: No discrimination based on race, caste, origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union or political affiliation, or age; no sexual harassment
Discipline: No corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion or verbal abuse
Working Hours: Comply with the applicable law but, in any event, no more than 48 hours per week with at least one day off for every seven day period; voluntary overtime paid at a premium rate and not to exceed 12 hours per week on a regular basis; overtime may be mandatory if part of a collective bargaining agreement
Compensation: Wages paid for a standard work week must meet the legal and industry standards and be sufficient to meet the basic need of workers and their families; no disciplinary deductions
Management Systems: Facilities seeking to gain and maintain certification must go beyond simple compliance to integrate the standard into their management systems and practices.
How to achieve ISO 27001 certification – ISO 27001 implementation / Certification steps
Lakshy Management Consultant Pvt Ltd. offers a well defined and globally proven implementation methodology for SA 8000 certification / ISO 26000 compliance.
- Gap Analysis
- Awareness Training
- Documentation Design and finalization
- Internal Auditor Training and conduct of internal audit
- Management Review Meeting
- Review of Implementation
- Pre-assessment audit
- Stage 1 – certification audit
- Stage 2 – certification audit
- Award of SA 8000 certification
- Continual improvement of the system through value added consulting and training services
What are the requirements of SA 8000 standard ?
SA 8000 standard include contents as follows:
Purpose and scope of SA 8000
This standard specifies requirements for social accountability to enable a company to:
Requirements of child labor
The company shall not engage in or support the use of child labor as defined above.
Requirements of Forced labor
The company shall not engage in or support the use of forced labor, nor shall personnel be required to lodge ‘deposits’ or identity papers upon commencing employment with the company.
Requirements of health and safety
The company, bearing in mind the prevailing knowledge of the industry and of any specific hazards, shall provide a safe and healthy working environment and shall take adequate steps to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, associated with or occurring in the course of [...]
Discrimination rules in SA 8000
The company shall not engage in or support discrimination in hiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, or age.
Freedom of association & right to collective bargaining
Freedom of association & right to collective bargaining The company shall respect the right of all personnel to form and join trade unions of their choice and to bargain collectively.
Disciplinary practices in SA 8000
The company shall not engage in or support the use of corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion, and verbal abuse.
Rules of working hours
The company shall comply with applicable laws and industry standards on working hours. The normal workweek shall be as defined by law but shall not on a regular basis exceed 48 hours. Personnel shall be provided with at least one day off in every seven-day period. All overtime [...]
The company shall ensure that wages paid for a standard working week shall always meet at least legal or industry minimum standards and shall be sufficient to meet basic needs of personnel and to provide some discretionary income.
SA 8000 policies
Top management shall define the company’s policy for social accountability and labor conditions to ensure that it:
Management Review of SA 8000
Top management shall periodically review the adequacy, suitability, and continuing effectiveness of the company’s policy, procedures and performance results vis-a-vis the requirements of this standard and other requirements to which the company subscribes. System amendments and improvements shall be implemented where appropriate.
Management Representative of SA 8000
The company shall appoint a senior management representative who, irrespective of other responsibilities, shall ensure that the requirements of this standard are met.
Planning and Implementation of SA 8000
The company shall ensure that the requirements of this standard are understood and implemented at all levels of the organization; methods shall include, but are not limited to:
Control of Suppliers/Subcontractors and Sub-Suppliers
The company shall establish and maintain appropriate procedures to evaluate and select suppliers/subcontractors (and, where appropriate, sub-suppliers) based on their ability to meet the requirements of this standard.
Addressing Concerns and Taking Corrective Action
The company shall investigate, address, and respond to the concerns of employees and other interested parties with regard to conformance/non-conformance with the company’s policy and/or the requirements of this standard; the company shall refrain from disciplining, dismissing or otherwise discriminating against any employee for providing information concerning observance of the standard.
Outside Communication in SA 8000
The company shall establish and maintain procedures to communicate regularly to all interested parties data and other information regarding performance against the requirements of this document, including, but not limited to, the results of management reviews and monitoring activities.
Access for Verification in SA 8000
Where required by contract, the company shall provide reasonable information and access to interested parties seeking to verify conformance to the requirements of this standard; where further required by contract, similar information and access shall also be afforded by the company’s suppliers and subcontractors through the incorporation of such a requirement in the company’s purchasing [...]
Records management in SA 8000
The company shall maintain appropriate records to demonstrate conformance to the requirements of this standard.
What we offer in the field of SA 8000 standard implementation compliance and certification
As one of the largest SA 8000 system certification consulting companies across the world with clients in more than 40 countries, our knowledge and experience of the standards is unsurpassed. We understand how to fully exploit the benefits of your social accountability management system to ensure you unlock the true potential in your organization.
We provide unmatched expertise and technical competence to ensure that your SA 8000 certification project adds value to your organization.
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