Standard SA 8000 (Social Accountability 8000) is a voluntary international standard, published by SAI Social Accountability International, a non governmental organisation based on the Conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO), on the Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child.
SA8000 defines social accountability requirements that not only the organisation concerned but the entire supply chain should adhere to with reference to requirements of an ethical, judicial and legal character, focusing on increasing transparency and competitiveness of organisations.
The organisations that implement SA 8000 fully disclose their ethical conduct towards human rights and workers, assuring the safety and healthiness of the workplace, protection of workers’ rights, protection of human rights, fight exploitation of minors and undertaking to spread the so-called “social accountability” to suppliers and customers.
SA8000 requires implementation of a Management System that is compatible, and integrable, with those set forth by other standards for application of Management Systems such as ISO 9001 for Quality management, ISO 14001 for the Environment, OHSAS18001 for Health and Safety in the workplace.
THE NEW FEATURES OF THE 2014 EDITION AND THE TRANSITION PERIOD
The 2014 edition of SA8000 has been applicable since 01 January 2016, which may coexist with SA8000:2008 until 30 June 2017, the end of the useful period to assure transition between the standard versions whereas, as of 1 April 2016 all new certifications must solely refer to SA8000:2014.
With SA8000:2014, some changes have been made to the scheme’s application requirements, for instance a series of operative procedures are now required in documented form, such as “Performance indicators” able to describe the trends of minimum expected performance in terms of social accountability, or also the cancellation of some key figures such as the Management Representative or the Workers’ Representative SA 8000 replaced by the Social Performance Team (SPT). Furthermore, the certification procedure now includes the Social Finger Print which is an online tool, useful for the organisation’s self-assessment in order to identify its Management System’s strengths and weaknesses and make the necessary improvements.
To issue certifications of conformity to standard SA8000, ICIM operates within the Ethical Labour Network (SAAS accredited) thanks to the convention with the Centre for Innovation and Economic Development (CISE).
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