Social Accountability (SA)8000

Table of content
Certification Overview
Certification Process
Benefits of the Certification

Certification Overview:


SA8000 was developed by Social Accountability International (SAI), a charitable human rights organization, which was founded in 1997, aiming at developing and promoting voluntary standards and systems to address worker’s rights. The first edition of the standard came out in 1997, was revised in 2001 and its latest revision was issued in 2008. It is the first auditable standard, suitable for companies of all sizes anywhere in the world that provides a framework to ensure that social accountability is being stewarded by the company. Today it is used worldwide by companies which want to demonstrate that they manage social and ethical issues and ongoing social compliance.


Certification Process:


SAI is the body that revises the standard whilst SAAS – Social Accountability Accreditation Services, the accreditation agency of SAI in New York, authorizes (accredits) certification bodies to grant certificates, according to the requirements of SA 8000:2008.




The cost of certification depends on the number days and frequency required to conduct the external audit, which is dependant on the size of the company and the scopes of work. The certification body usually charges about $800 USD per day.


A Palestinian company may choose to appoint a consultant to develop the internal system and procedures. Consultation fees for such a service usually depend on the size of the company and scope of certificates.


Benefits of the Certification:


For companies:

SA 8000 certified companies enjoy a competitive advantage against those not certified because they can easily demonstrate that:

They have developed and implemented effective labor practices
employee recruitment, retention and productivity is improved

They manage their supply chain effectively and ensure that workers rights are respected all along the supply chain enhancing their relationship with stakeholders, their credibility as well as their brand name and reputation.


For workers:

SA8000 certification has benefits for workers also since it can be used as a tool to effectively train and educate them on labor and social issues, to improve their work environment, assuring humane working conditions and to prove that all workers are treated in a fair way and equally.


For consumers and investors:


Consumers and investors also benefit because it is easier for them to make ethical purchasing and investing decisions, since products are made in companies under fair and decent conditions.


A strong social accountability management system will benefit the business by:

1. Enhancing brand image and reputation
2. Differentiating from competition
3. Attracting new customers
4. Improving worker morale and effectiveness
5. Opening up new markets
6. Attracting ethical investment
7. Demonstrating transparency to stakeholders