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What is SA 8000? SA 8000 Pre-audit and Certification for Businesses

The issue of corporate’s social accountability has increasingly attracted the attention of not only social organizations, governments, researchers but also enterprises and consumers. One of the most commonly used standards today is the SA 8000 certification - the Corporate Social Responsibility Standard.

OVERVIEW OF SA 8000 Social Responsibility

  1. WHAT IS SA 8000?

In 1997, the Council on Economic Priorities Accreditation Agency met and agreed to issue SA 8000 standard. The content of SA 8000 concentrates on requirements of social responsibility management. This set of standards has been developed to improve the workplace environment and working conditions globally. SA 8000 is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Labor Organization Conventions and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Subjects applying 8000 can be any organization, domestic and foreign enterprises with all sizes from small to large...


SA 8000 addresses matters of human rights and working conditions as well as workers' regimes. Detail:

Child labor: Many SA 8000’s pre-audit have updated that in the request, it is not allowed to hire workers under 15, the minimum age for developing countries.

  • The working-age in ILO Convention 138 is 14, except for developing countries; Corrective action should be taken when detecting any case of child labor.
  • Forced labor: Under SA 8000, there is no forced labor, including debt repayment or prison labor, when it comes to recruiting, the employer will not be allowed to request employees to deposit their identification papers or money.
  • Health and safety: Ensuring a safe and healthy workplace environment, taking measures to prevent accidents and threats that damage safety and health, with adequate bathrooms and drinking water.
  • Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining: Workers have the right to form and join trade unions and have the right to bargain collectively according to the workers' choice.
  • Discrimination: Do not discriminate based on race, caste, religion, origin, sex, disability, union membership or political opinion.
  • Labor discipline: There is no corporal punishment, mental and verbal abuse.
  • Working time: Compliance with applicable laws and industry standards of working hours, in any case, normal working time does not exceed 48 hours/week and every seven working days must arrange at least one day off for staff; Make sure that overtime hours (more than 48 hours/week) do not exceed 12 hours/person/ week, with the exception of exceptional circumstances and special business circumstances and overtime work will receive proper remuneration.
  • Remuneration: Wages paid to employees during a one-week work period must meet industry laws and standards. Wages need to be sufficient to meet the basic needs of workers such as meals, lodging, daily living, etc. Besides, there is no penalty for deduction of wages.
  • Management Systems: Businesses and organizations wishing to achieve and maintain SA 8000 certification need to develop and combine this standard with the actual work and management systems available at their organization.

Since its inception, SA 8000 Vietnamese standards have been evaluated to bring great benefits to businesses, especially in the period of international integration. The benefits that an Enterprise has when applying SA 8000 standards can be

Businesses with their customers

  • If their business participates in SA 8000 with available monitoring procedures, their products will meet customer expectations, then this standard will help to reduce supervision costs.
  • having SA 8000 will help build trust with customers that products and services are created in a safe and fair workplace environment. The requirements of continuous improvement lead to the prestige of the business.

Enterprise with supplier

  • Having SA 8000 certification will create a competitive advantage in the market, attract more customers and new markets, penetrate new markets and at the same time bring businesses and managers " Peace of mind about social responsibility "
  • Applying SA 8000 Social Responsibility can reduce the managing cost of other social requirements.
  • Enhance the position of the company in the labor market. A clear commitment to social and ethical standards makes it easy for the company to attract competent employees.
  • SA 8000 is the company's commitment to employees to prove that they have a good welfare regime thereby increasing their satisfaction and loyalty to the company. This not only helps the company increases productivity but also has a better relationship with customers and makes them become loyal customers. The fact shows that workers who have been trained SA 8000 are often more loyal and their productivity increases significantly after the enterprise applies this set of standards.

The SA 8000 pre-audit and certification process includes the following steps:

  • Customers register for pre-audit & certification services with a certification organization
  • The certification body will work with the customer to conduct pre-audit activities, draft documents, adjust necessary infrastructure, apply, internal assessment, gather considerations of the leaders ... from 3 months - 1 year depending on the size, current status of infrastructure and the determination of the business
  • Businesses will be trained SA 8000 for staff who understand this set of standards.
  • Must have a track record of operating under a social responsibility management system for about 3 months
  • Register for SA 8000 certification service at a reputable independent certification organization
  • Conduct certification audits
  • Fix errors (if any)
  • Customers receive certificates and maintain the SA 8000 system
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