SA 8000 Certification

SA 8000 Certification

SA 8000 Certification Requirements:

There are three main requirements for SA8000 certification:

  1. The factory must be found to comply with all the “material” provisions of the standard. This means they must have good management policies and procedures in place, their records must be accurate, etc., etc., which you’ll read about below. All these requirements are material because if you don’t pass the tests, you’ll lose your certification.
  2. The factory must be found to comply with at least one non-material provision of the standard. This may be something like “provide adequate training” or “promote worker participation in management” – these requirements are not material because they don’t affect your chances of getting certified.
  3. The factory must be “eligible for certification” which means there can’t have been any serious violations found during the previous 180 days. But, as long as you turn up a few non-material violations your chances of getting certified are still good because these don’t count toward the three main requirements mentioned above.

But if you show a pattern of serious violations, you’ll get a one-year “suspension of accreditation” which means that there’s no point in applying for certification until 12 months have gone by. And if you’re suspended three times consecutively then this means the factory is banned from applying for another five years.

What does SA8000 certification mean?

The certification process is the one where an independent auditor comes and spends a day or two, or ideally a week or so, checking out your factory. The process is designed to see if you’re what you say you are, i.e., that you comply with the standard. If they find something which you didn’t tell them about then this counts as a violation of the standard.

This process involves two kinds of documentation (whether you like it or not): records of processes and records of results, i.e., evidence that you’ve done what you told them you did, and evidence that your factory does indeed comply with the standard.

The auditor will need to do some fact-checking too, e.g., checking your records against what they see when they visit the factory in person. But this is relatively straightforward, and not too expensive. You can’t get away with making things up or hiding stuff so easily.

Records of processes are typically more expensive to put together than just records of results, but if you have nothing worth auditing in the first place then this is irrelevant.

How much will SA8000 Certification Cost?

SA8000 certification fees varies per factory based on the size and number of employees. SA 8000 Certification cost ranges from $2,500 to $30,000.

What does this SA8000 Certification Cost cover?

This covers the cost of the auditor and their time to visit your factory and certify you against SA8000. If they do a pre-assessment, this will also be taken into account.

What does this NOT cover?

This does not cover the cost of training, which you’ll need to finance yourself if your staff hasn’t been trained already. This doesn’t cover the cost of putting together records: these should have been done long before the auditor visits and this is your responsibility.

What is SA8000 Certification Process?

SA 8000 certification process begins by determining eligibility, or whether you’ve violated the standard in the last 180 days. Once this has been established, the auditor conducts an on-site assessment according to the corresponding checklist. This assessment focuses on meeting materials management requirement, health and safety practices, and energy and environmental practices.

The auditor will make a visit to the factory within 30 days of eligibility confirmation. During this evaluation, they’ll be assessing if you’re complying with SA 8000 requirements. The focus is on materials management, occupational health and safety, and energy and environmental aspects of SA 8000 standards for social responsibility.

How long does it take to get SA 8000 Certification

SA 8000 certification process begins once eligibility is established, which takes about 10 days. The auditor conducts an on-site assessment within 30 days of the eligible confirmation. This whole SA 8000 certification process varies depending on factory size and number of employees, but can take anywhere between a week or two for small factories to up to 6 weeks for large factories.

Non-material violations will result in additional time needed, but if the assessment uncovers serious violations then this certification will not proceed. To learn more about SA8000 certification process, please contact us.

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