SA 8000 Certification
The Social Accountability 8000 (SA8000) is the first worldwide standard for corporate social responsibility. SA8000 is promoted as a voluntary, universal standard for companies involved in auditing and certifying labor practices in their facilities and those of their suppliers and vendors. It is designed for self-regulating third party certification. SA 8000 is based on the principles of international human rights norms as expressed in International Labor Organization conventions, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It measures the performance of companies in eight key areas: child labor, forced labor, health and safety, free association and collective bargaining, discrimination, disciplinary practices, working hours and compensation. SA8000 also gives for a social accountability management system to demonstrate ongoing conformance with the standard.
The SA8000 standard for socially responsible employment practices first appeared in 1998 after almost a year of drafting by the suggested board. It was modeled on the well-established ISO 9000 quality standard. However, unlike ISO9000, it prescribes specific performance standards.
The SA8000 code of practice is broken down into nine key areas:
- Child labor;
- Forced labor;
- Health and safety;
- Freedom of association and collective bargaining;
- Disciplinary practices;
- Working hours;
- Management systems