Changes to Audit Requirements for SA8000

(June 26, 2019)

SAI and SAAS have made some important changes to the Audit Requirements for SA8000 (Procedure 200). The most significant change will reduce the number of on-site surveillance audits required during the certification cycle and applies to all certified companies. The updated audit schedule is outlined below.

Additional minor changes to the Audit Requirements will only affect certain organizations. Certified organizations should receive notice from their SA8000 certification body if these changes will affect upcoming audits.

Further details, explanation, and guidance regarding implementation of the amended requirements can be found in the following documents in the SAAS Document Library:

If you have any questions or concerns about these changes, please contact us at

Changes to surveillance audit schedule

Previously, most SA8000-certified organizations were required to undergo semi-annual, on-site surveillance audits each year after their initial certification.

Going forward, most organizations will only undergo two on-site surveillance audits conducted over the three-year cycle. Note: This does not apply to multi-site certifications.

Figure 1: New SA8000 Surveillance Audit Schedule

Clarifying Requirements for Certification Scope

Another change to the Audit Requirements provides further guidance clarifying that SA8000 intends to avoid certifying facilities that have adopted a social initiative but do not apply it evenly or completely throughout their operations. Specifically, SA8000 certificates should cover the complete premises and operations of an organization, including remote sites and home workers operating under a common management system. See Section 6 and Section 10 of Procedure 200 for full details.

Currently certified organizations affected by this change will receive notice from their certification body, including information about steps to maintain certification.