SA8000 Certification Process

As the first step in the SA8000 certification process, the applicant organization undertakes an online management system self-assessment. The Social Fingerprint® Self-Assessment helps the organization understand the management system requirements of SA8000 and whether it is ready to apply for certification. Once the organization 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 to start the full evaluation process. Each accredited certification body is independently managed, and SAI encourages applicant organizations to contact various certification bodies to receive quotes for fees.

The certification body’s evaluation against the SA8000® Standard comprises reviews of documentation, working practices, employee interview responses, and operational records. Once the certification body has determined that the organization has implemented the necessary actions and improvements to become compliant with the Standard, it grants an SA8000 certificate, which may be used by the organization to publicize its achievement.

Subsequent on-site monitoring—a combination of announced and unannounced visits, typically twice per year—provides assurance that the organization’s management processes continue to achieve the social performance requirements of SA8000. The SA8000 certificate is valid for three years subject to ongoing surveillance audit evaluations, and the organization may recertify to SA8000 at the end of the third year.

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