Opening and Closing Meetings for SA8000 Audits

SUPERSEDED, MAY 10, 2019: See Procedure 200:2019, V4.0

During an announced SA8000 audit, the Opening Meeting is conducted with the auditee management team immediately after the audit team arrives on site. During an unannounced, or semi-announced audit, the Opening Meeting is conducted only AFTER a preliminary walk-through visual inspection of the facility.

For requirements on the conduct of opening and closing meetings by SA8000 auditors during SA8000:2014 audits, refer to ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015, element 9.4.2 and 9.4.7.  An example of a simple opening and closing meeting attendance template has been created by SAAS for use by the CBs with their certified clients.  CBs and auditors shall use the SAAS Templates or their own equivalent document, as long as the equivalent includes, at minimum, the information listed in the SAAS template.

Agenda Items For Opening And Closing Meetings For SA8000 Audits

In addition to the elements found in ISO 17021, the following agenda items are minimum elements to cover in the opening and closing meetings.

Opening Meeting Mandatory 

  1. Review the confidentiality agreement and anti-bribery policy.
  2. Establish official communication links between the audit team and company.
  3. Clarify and confirm or amend the scope of audit. 
  4. Conduct an overview of the audit programme and how the audit will be undertaken.
  5. Explain the significance and reporting of critical, major and minor non-compliances.
  6. Invite questions from the organisation's representatives.
  7. Invite questions from the SA8000 worker representative(s).


Closing Meeting Mandatory 

  1. Thank the company for their hospitality and for their assistance and co-operation.
  2. Provide an overall summary of audit, non-compliances and comments found during the audit.
  3. Present the audit team’s recommendation for or against certification or its continuance.
  4. Explain the procedure for submitting Corrective Action and Objective Evidence where required.  
  5. Explain the continual (surveillance) audit cycle. 
  6. Invite questions from the organisation's representatives including comments on the expected report.
  7. Leave a photocopy of the non-compliances with the organisation.