SA8000 Certification Process
An SA8000 certificate is valid for three years, subject to the continuing assurance provided by ongoing certification body surveillance audit evaluations.
As the first step in the certification process, the applicant organisation undertakes an online management system self-assessment. The Social Fingerprint® Self-Assessment helps the organisation understand the management system requirements of SA8000 and whether it is ready to apply for initial certification or recertification. Once the organisation considers its management practices mature enough to pursue certification, it selects and works with one of the more than twenty independent SAAS-accredited certification bodies (CBs) to start the full evaluation process.
The certification body’s evaluation against the SA8000® Standard comprises reviews of documentation, working practices, employee interview responses, and records. Once the certification body has determined that the organisation has implemented the necessary actions and improvements to become compliant with the Standard, it grants an SA8000 certificate, which may be used by the organisation to publicize its achievement. Subsequent on-site monitoring (a combination of announced and unannounced visits, typically twice per year) provides assurance that the organisation’s management processes continue to achieve the social performance requirements of SA8000.