What is SA8000 Audit?

SA8000 is a social compliance standard developed by Social Accountability International (SAI) and based on standards set by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Social Compliance is defined as the practices put in place by an organization to guarantee the quality of life at work. SA8000 is the main social compliance standard, present in all major producing countries and in many sectors to ensure ethical management of human resources.

Compliance with SA8000 should always be verified through on-site third-party audits. An SA8000 audit provides an on-the-ground reality check of the actual practices deployed at the factory along with an overview of how they treat their workers.

Pro QC’s SA8000 Audit Services

Pro QC International is a global quality assurance company that provides third-party SA8000 audit services in over 88 countries. We are present in Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, and the Middle East with a large network of experienced and qualified social compliance auditors. The SA8000 audit solutions provided by Pro QC help companies ensure social compliance and transparency in their entire supply chain.

Pro QC’s SA8000 audit solutions address the following needs:

  1. A buying company needs to conduct an audit of its supplier to ensure workers’ rights and local regulations are respected.
  2. A buying/supplying company wants to comply and fulfill their retail client’s compliance requirements.
  3. A company seeks an internal audit to understand areas of improvement.
  4. A company requires external support for the preparation to obtain the SA8000 certification.

SA8000 Audit Approach and Checklist

Pro QC SA8000 audits are done on-site to obtain first-hand information directly from the workers and the factory environment. The typical audit time is 2-5 days depending on the size of the factory and the number of employees.

The SA8000 standard contains nine social requirements aimed at increasing the competitive capacity of those organizations that voluntarily provide a guarantee of the ethics of their production chain and production cycle. Pro QC’s SA8000 audit checklist covers those nine requirements under the headings below:

  • Child labor
  • Forced or Compulsory Labor
  • Health & Safety
  • Freedom of Association & Right to Collective Bargaining
  • Discrimination
  • Disciplinary Practices
  • Working Hours
  • Remuneration
  • Management Systems

The SA8000 audit incorporates interviews with factory workers. The sample size of the interviewees is representative of the total number of employees. The questions cover their working hours, wages, and working conditions so that the auditor understands whether the supplier is behaving in compliance with human rights issues and safety regulations.

Pro QC’s SA8000 Audit Outcomes

The SA8000 audit report communicates the level of risk, compliance, and commitment along with the areas of improvement required of the organization.

The SA8000 audit reports are delivered in exhaustive detail to clients within 72 hours after the service. Each report provides:

  • A summary of the audit
  • The overall audit score and compliance level with the SA8000 standard
  • The compliance level for each part of the standard
  • The recommended corrective actions to implement
  • Objective evidence such as photos, interviews, and examined records and documents

After identifying nonconformities, Pro QC provides support to mitigate the risks and follow up on identified opportunities for improvement (OFI). Pro QC takes the following approach for all social and ethical compliance-related supplier management programs.

  • Conduct initial SA8000 social accountability audit
  • Determine the risk level of the supplier
  • Establish a corrective action plan
  • Implementation and verification of corrective actions at each supplier
  • Annual monitoring of high and medium risk suppliers

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