Accreditation Transition Process

What is the required process for a CB to undertake SA8000:2014 audits? 
  • Updated: See element 7 of the revised document: SAAS Notification 4A: Certification of Clients to SA8000:2014
  • Updated: October 1, 2015: All CBs must acknowledge the updated Notification.
  • Updated: November 1, 2015: By this date, all CBs shall submit a plan to SAAS identifying their process for incorporating the changes into their accredited SA8000 audit system.  These changes shall take into account the revised SA8000:2014, the integration of Social Fingerprint into the audit process, and the new Procedures 200:2015 and 201A:2015 and 201B:2015.  All CBs shall also begin the process of revising policies, procedures and other system-related documents, as well as training personnel involved in the accredited SA8000 system.  All plans submitted by the CBs shall be reviewed by SAAS in a timely manner.  SAAS shall respond to all CBs with any required follow-up, comments or questions about the transition plan.
  • Updated: March 31, 2016: By this date, SAAS will conduct a document review of the revised policies and procedures of all CBs.  The document reviews will be conducted on a rolling basis, beginning as soon as a CB submits its documents for review, SAAS will assign it to a reviewer for assessment and evaluation.  
  • A CB must receive approval from SAAS prior to conducting any SA8000:2014 audits.  This approval will be issued after SAAS has reviewed the transition plan and conducted a brief document review.  
  • Between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016: SAAS will monitor the CBs’ implementation of their revised procedures and training of personnel through regularly scheduled office and witnessed audits to review files and records, as well as witnessed SA8000:2014 transition audits.
  • After the document review, office audit and witnessed audits are conducted, and any outstanding concerns have been addressed, SAAS shall issue an updated accreditation certificate and agreement to the accredited CB.
  • SAAS will consider deviations from the expected timeline and plan identified above on a case by case basis. 
What are the estimated new costs which will be involved for the review by SAAS (as noted in paragraph 9.3 of Notification 4A)? 

ResponseSAAS expects to take 1-2 audit days for the document review.  This will, of course, depend on the number of documents required for the document review process.  Additional time may be needed at the regularly scheduled head office audit.

According to paragraph 1.a. of Notification 4B, a CB shall provide internal training and calibration on new processes and procedures.  What is required for this training and calibration? 

ResponseAll CBs shall be required to update their policies, procedures, work instructions, report forms and processes, as necessary, to comply with the new requirements of SA8000:2014, Procedure 200:2015, Procedure 201A:2015 and 201B:2015.  Therefore, all CBs are required to provide training to all personnel associated with the accredited SA8000 program – including program managers, auditors (employed or contracted), subject matter experts, and others involved in the SA8000 certification system.  This training shall, at minimum, review the revised procedures set out by SAAS, as well as the CB’s internal system changes. This training shall ensure that there is a common understanding among the CBs personnel of the expected implementation, interpretation and use of the new system.

Will this period coincide and take into account the CBs’ transition to ISO 17021-1:2015? 

ResponseYes. The transition to ISO 17021-1:2015 shall be in accordance with the timeline for implementation of Procedure 200:2015 and Procedure 201A:2015 and 201B:2015, so that all CBs are accredited to ISO 17021-1:2015 by December 31, 2016.