Congratulations on taking the first step toward becoming an SA8000-certified organization. The required steps that you must take to begin a certification process are described here. Step 2 asks you to contact a SAAS-accredited Certification Body to schedule your first audit (more information below). Your SA8000 Certification Body will be your main contact for questions about the certification process.
Step 1: Social Fingerprint® Self-Assessment
The first step in the SA8000 certification process is to take the Social Fingerprint® Self-Assessment—an online management system self-assessment. The Social Fingerprint Self-Assessment helps interested organizations understand SA8000’s management system requirements and whether they are ready to apply for certification.
Duration: 60-90 minutes
Social Fingerprint Self-Assessment Instructions
Accepted Forms of Payment
The fee for the self-assessment is payable by credit card in the SAI Training Center. To pay via bank transfer, contact [email protected]. Please note that it may take 3–5 days for a bank transfer to be processed and before you can start your self-assessment.
If you have already selected your accredited certification body, please contact them for their unique Key Name for SAI’s Training Center. If you have not yet chosen your certification body, please use the Key Name SA8000SF.
Changes to Social Fingerprint Scorecard Delivery
As of December 11, 2019, due to system updates on the SAI Training Center platform, the scorecard function at the end of Self-Assessments and Independent Evaluations will no longer function as described in the above instructions. All scores and information will still be collected by the system as before. The full Q&A reports will still be generated and downloadable. However, the scorecard will now be sent directly to the user through email within 24 hours of completion of the course. No technical aspect of the process has changed and all activities should be performed as before.
Changes to SAI Training Center Interface
The SAI Training Center interface has changed. However, the instructions should still be accurate. If you have any questions about the process, please contact [email protected].
Take the Self-Assessment
The Social Fingerprint Self-Assessment is available via the SAI Training Center.
Step 2: Contact an Accredited Certification Body
Finding an Accredited Certification Body
Following your organization’s successful completion of the Social Fingerprint Self-Assessment, please contact an accredited certification body 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.
More about SA8000 Certification Costs.
SA8000 Certification Audit
The certification body will conduct an initial Stage 1 Audit (typically taking 1 to 2 days) to assess the organization’s readiness for SA8000. Organizations that move on to Stage 2 will go through a full certification audit, which can take from 2 to 10 days, depending on the size and scope of the organization.
As part of both stages, the certification body will conduct a Social Fingerprint® Independent Evaluation that will help the organization identify strengths and weaknesses in its management system. The evaluation includes reviews of documentation, working practices, employee interview responses, and operational records.
Achieving SA8000 Certification
Once the certification body has determined that the organization has implemented the necessary actions and improvements to become compliant with the SA8000 Standard, it grants an SA8000 certificate, which the organization may use to publicize its achievement.
Step 3: On-site Surveillance Monitoring
SA8000 certification is valid for three years, subject to on-site surveillance monitoring. Surveillance monitoring includes a combination of announced and unannounced visits, typically twice per year, and Independent Evaluations to track improvements over time. After the three-year cycle concludes, you may choose to re-certify.
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