is SAAS’s relationship with SAI?
SAAS began work in 1997 as an accreditation
agency as part of Social
Accountability International (SAI) and was formally established
as its own independent, not-for-profit affiliate in 2007.
SAAS is now an independent decision-making agency, linked
to SAI only through contractual arrangements.
is the oversight process of SAAS?
SAAS is overseen by a Board of Directors,
legally responsible for the fiscal and programmatic oversight
of the organization. SAAS also confers with an Accreditation
Advisory Committee and Accreditation
Review Panel in setting policy and making accreditation
determinations. SAAS’s accreditation
activities are monitored
by the ISEAL Alliance through a series of peer reviews to
ensure compliance with ISO Guide 17011.
do I contact SAAS?
If you would like further information on any of the possible
routes for your involvement with SAAS, or have questions about
accreditation and the application process, please contact:
Lisa Bernstein, Accreditation Program Manager
Phone: +1-212-684-1414, extension 204
does my company become accredited to certify factories and
facilities to the SA8000 Standard?
Accreditation is a process
similar to licensing, wherein SAAS evaluates an applicant
certification body's capacity to thoroughly audit a workplace
for compliance with the appropriate Standard within the scope
of SAAS. This process includes an
audit of the body's written policies and procedures as well
as observing auditors in the field. The ongoing accreditation
process also includes the following:
1. Office audits: Office documentation review and interviews
2. Witness audits: Observation of auditors conducting field
does my non-governmental organization (NGO) become accredited
to certify factories and facilities to the SA8000 Standard?
NGOs are welcome and encouraged to apply for accreditation
by SAAS. NGOs will follow the same process
as any accreditation applicant and must demonstrate adherence
to SAAS accreditation criteria.
long does it take to be accredited?
The accreditation process is very detailed and thorough and
contains many steps. Therefore,
the timeframe depends entirely on the readiness of the applicant
to ensure quality audits and meet the criteria set out by
SAAS. As such, there is no set timeline - the process could
take anywhere from 6 months to more than a year.
are the average costs of SAAS accreditation?
The cost of the application package is $100. The fee to apply
to become accredited varies depending on the size of the organization.
The costs associated with ongoing monitoring will vary depending
on the number of SA8000 certifications. Please visit the Accreditation
Fees page for the detailed list of costs.
is the renewal process for accreditation?
In order for Certification Bodies (CBs) to renew their accreditation,
they must undergo an office and witness audit by SAAS, similar
to their initial accreditation application
Certification is the process
by which individual facilities and organizations earn a document
attesting to its compliance to a standard or code. Performance
deemed to be in conformance with the standard is acknowledged
by granting a certificate that can be displayed and its contents
communicated to relevant parties.
do I become certified?
The certification process is
long does it take to be certified?
The average length of time for the certification process varies
depending on the readiness of the facility and the systems
it has put in place to meet the requirements of SA8000. Some
facilities require a pre-assessment prior to a certification
audit. If it is found that the facility requires additional
procedures to meet the Standard, corrective actions must then
be put in place. Once the certification audit is conducted,
corrective actions may be issued and again, procedures will
need to be put in place to correct them. Major corrective
actions must be evident before certification may be granted.
Therefore, the amount of time needed between applying to be
certified and becoming certified could vary between several
months and several years
are the average costs of earning certification?
The average costs of earning certification vary for each applicant
facility, depending on the Certification Body to which it
applies, location of the facility, facility size and scope
of the certification.
are the benefits of certification?
- Putting company values into action.
- Enhancing company and brand reputation.
- Improving communication with employees and recruitment,
retention and productivity.
- Supporting better supply chain management and performance.
- Enhanced opportunities for workers to organize trade unions
and bargain collectively.
- Education about core labor rights.
- A way to generate public awareness of companies committed
to assuring humane working conditions.
widely recognized is the SA8000 standard?
Sufficiently specific to be used to audit companies and contractors
alike in multiple industries and countries, SA8000
represents a major breakthrough: it was the first auditable
social standard and creates a process that is truly independent
(it is neither a government project nor dominated by any single
interest group). Representatives of trade unions, human rights
organizations, academia, retailers, manufacturers, contractors,
as well as consulting, accounting, and certification firms,
by consensus, cooperated to develop the SA8000
Standard. Because of its multi-stakeholder input, applicability
across industries and countries, emphasis on continuous improvement
and use of a management system for implementation, SA8000
is widely recognized as one of the most comprehensive and
well-respected human rights social standard available.
is the impact of SA8000 worldwide?
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.
do I know if a facility is certified to SA8000?
Facilities certified to SA8000 are listed here.
These facilities have been certified by certification
bodies (CBs) accredited by SAAS. If an SA8000 “certificate”
has been issued by an organization NOT listed on this website,
it is not a legitimate accredited
SA8000 certificate. If you are still unsure about the validity
of an SA8000 certificate, please contact
SAAS directly for more information.
can I buy a product made at an SA8000-certified facility?
Certification to the SA8000 standard is not for specific items
produced by certified facilities, but rather the process through
which the products are made. SA8000-certified facilities are
usually a part of the supply chain that supplies to international
companies and brands that choose to source from SA8000 certified
do I become an SA8000 auditor?
SAAS does not directly employ SA8000 auditors. Auditors interested
in conducting SA8000 audits may do so in one of two ways:
working directly for a SAAS-accredited Certification
Body, or working as an individual auditor available for
hire by accredited CBs.
do I make a complaint?
SAAS has developed a complaints policy and provides guidance
on lodging a complaint. The complaint
should be made in writing and addressed to:
Executive Director, SAAS
15 West 44th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10036
The complaint should be fully detailed and
objective evidence to the complaint must be provided. Any
complaint that meets the required criteria will be fully investigated
and complainants will be advised of the outcome of their complaint
once this investigation has taken place.