SAI is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of a global consultant registry program for the SA8000 system in close partnership with the supply chain technology company HAP.
Effective capacity building and implementation are important for addressing social performance risks and improving impacts for workers. Consultants and trainers can play an important role in these efforts, complementary to, but distinct from the due diligence role of auditors. They often help companies navigate and apply social standards and requirements, but skilled professionals in the field can also help companies go beyond auditing to embed systemic changes—securing leadership buy-in and fostering manager and worker ownership of labor improvements and guiding companies to internalize these and other positive changes in their organizational culture.
These services have great potential to improve social performance, but without structures for quality control, professional development, and transparency, there is potential for abuse, corruption, and conflicts of interest. SAI sees investment in responsible and skilled social performance consulting as a critical component of advancing human rights in workplaces globally. The teams at HAP also see great potential in this approach; they are working with industry leaders across sectors to use technology for more oversight and confidence in local consultant networks that support social performance standards.
As part of this effort, we are launching the SA8000 Consultant Registry Program in April 2021 to bring new transparency and professionalism to social compliance consulting and capacity building activities. This program will create a public registry of consultants and trainers offering SA8000-related services who demonstrate a baseline level of relevant training and experience. This program will bring visibility to SA8000 consulting services and will help SA8000-certified and applicant organizations identify experienced professionals to support their social performance improvement.
In many of our programs, SAI employs a Train-the-Trainers or consultant-training model—encompassing individual professionals, local civil society organizations, and community groups—to cascade impact over time and in many locations. The SA8000 Consultant Registry builds on that extensive experience, recognizing consultants for their diverse skillsets in areas such as change management, worker and stakeholder engagement, organizational culture change, and many more. While this program will be limited to SA8000 in the beginning, we plan to extend the model to support high-quality CSR consulting and capacity building broadly in the future. We look forward to sharing more information about this program in the coming months.
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