SA 8001 Certification Services
SA 8000 is the end result of the work of a commission formed by different parties, and its drafting was co-ordinated by the CEPAA (Council on Economic Priorities Accreditation Agency), a non-governmental organisation established in 1997 for this purpose, today known as SAI (Social Accountability International) .
An important characteristic of SA 8000 is that it is not based simply on verifying compliance, on one occasion, with the requirements of the standard but is related to a continuously evolving system, founded on the element of prevention.
SA 8000 has been developed based on the conventions of the International Labour Organisation, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child. It is applicable to all companies regardless of scale, size, industry and location.
Its objective is to ensure ethical sourcing and production of goods and services.
Need For SA 8000
Consumers and other stakeholders have become increasingly concerned about whether products have been manufactured under conditions of violation of human rights, child labor and discrimination – as often reported by the media.
- The existing management of many companies cannot adequately cope with the myriad demands imposed by labour laws, codes of conduct of individual companies, as well as their stakeholders.
- A greater challenge is to effectively monitor whether the manufacturers and suppliers have implemented
- The concept and value of employing an independent, third party to monitor social responsibility is becoming increasingly important.
SA 8000 Elements (In Brief)
SA8000 is based on international workplace norms in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions and the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on Rights of the Child. The summary of official standard is as follows:
1. Child Labor: No worker under the age if 15 minimum lowered to 14 for countries operating under the ILS convention 138 developing-country exception; remediation of any child found to be working
2. Forced Labor: No forced labor, including prison or debt bondage labor; no lodging of deposits or identity papers be employers or outside recruiters.
3. Health and Safety: Provide a sage and healthy work environment, take steps to prevent injuries; regular health and safety worker training; system to detect threats to health and safety; access to bathrooms and potable water.
4. Freedom of Association and Right to Collective Bargaining: Respect the right to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively; where law prohibits these freedoms, facilitate parallel means of association and bargaining.
5. Discrimination: No discrimination on race, caste, origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual, orientation, union or political affiliation, or age; no sexual harassment.
6. Discipline: No corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion or verbal abuse.
7. Working Hours: Comply with the applicable law but, in any event, no more than 48 hours per week with at least one day off for every seven day period; voluntary overtime paid at a premium rate and not to exceed 12 hours per week on a regular basis; overtime may be mandatory if part of a collective bargaining agreement.
8. Remuneration: Wages paid for a standard work week must meet the legal and industry standards of respective countries and be sufficient to meet the basic need of workers and their families; no disciplinary deductions.
9. Management Systems: Facilitates seeking to gain and maintain certification must go beyond simple compliance to integrate the standard into their management systems and practices.
How QMS Can Help Companies in Getting SA8000 (through CISE, Italy)
There are two options, certification to SA8000 and involvement in the Corporate Involvement Program (CIP).
Certification to SA8000: Companies that operate production facilities can seek to have individual facilities certified to SA8000 through audits by one of the accredited certification bodies like (thru CISE). Since the SA8000 system became fully operational in 1998, there are certified facilities in 30 countries on five continents.
SA8000 Corporate Involvement Program: Companies that focus on selling goods or that combine production and selling can join the SA8000 Corporate Involvement Program. The CIP is a two-level program that helps companies evaluate SA8000, implement the standard, and report publicly on implementation progress.
SA8000 Explorer (CIP Level One): Evaluate SA8000 as an ethical sourcing tool via pilot audits.
SA8000 Signatory (CIP Level Two): Implement SA8000 over time in some or all of the supply chain through certification by Communicate implementation progress to stakeholders via SAI-verified public reporting.
Benefits of SA 8000
Benefits for Workers, Trade Unions and NGOs:
- Enhanced opportunities to organize trade unions and bargain collectively.
- A tool to educate workers about core labor rights.
- An opportunity to work directly with business on labor rights issues.
- A way to generate public awareness of companies committed to assuring humane working conditions.
Benefits for Business:
- Drives company values into action.
- Enhances company and brand reputation.
- Improves employee recruitment, retention and productivity.
- Supports better supply chain management and performance.
Benefits for Consumers and Investors:
- Clear and credible assurance for ethical purchasing decisions.
- Identification of ethically made products and companies committed to ethical sourcing.
- Broad coverage of product categories and production geography.