Social Accountability – SA8000 2008-2014 Comparison

Every five years SAI revises the SA8000 standard in order to ensure its continued relevance and adoptability. This process is conducted in accordance with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards (the Code).

Social Accountability International recently discussed this process and offered a side-by-side comparison (2008-2014) for general review.

Aside from general and minor verbiage changes, other observations include:

  • The term “company” and “employer” has been replaced by “organization” in many areas.
  • The Guidance Document is now available for download rather than previously requiring a  “small fee.”
  • An “Introduction” referencing “Management System” and “Intent/Scope” replaces “Purpose and Scope” as the first item listed in the Contents.
  • Night hours are no longer excluded in regards to hiring young workers.
  • “Health & Safety” are expanded to include a Safety  Committee requirement and more detailed explanation of workplace environment and responsibilities therein.
  • Forced or Compulsory Labor expands on and adds that with certain requirements,
    “recruitment or employment fees or costs shall be charged directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, to
  • “Control” now becomes “Management” of Suppliers and Contractors.
  • Management Systems is expanded and incorporates Social Performance Teams.

Additional resources from SAI are available here.

As a 3rd party engineering & quality consulting firm, Pro QC offers SA8000 and ISO26000 audits as part of our core service offerings.  We have also written several other articles related to the topic of corporate social responsibility.

Social Accountability Audits – Benefits & Features 

ISO 26000 – Introducing the new social standard

Sustainability Audits – An Evolving Process

Celebrating working contributions & realizing the benefits of social audits


1 comment

  1. Alex katz says:

    To whom it may concern:

    My name is Alex Katz and I am SAI’s Senior Manager of Research and Stakeholder Relations. I would like to thank you for posting this informative blog on the comparison between SA8000: 2008 and a DRAFT of SA8000: 2014. Please note that SAI has not released the final version of SA8000: 2014, which varies significantly from the draft you reference in your blog.

    Along with the release of the final SA8000: 2014, which we hope to do by the end of June 2014, SAI will publish a number of documents to help understand the changes made to the Standard, including Drafter’s Notes (explains the changes made in detail) and a Discussion and Analysis paper (analyzes the comments received during the public consultation period).

    Please do not hesitate to contact me for further information. akatz@sa-intl.org

    Best regards,
    Alex Katz

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