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Changes to Audit Requirements for SA8000

September 16, 2019

SAI and SAAS have made important changes to the audit requirements for SA8000 (Procedure 200 v. 4.1).

The most significant change will reduce the number of on-site surveillance audits required during the certification cycle. This applies to all single site new certification clients/already certified organizations.

The updated audit schedule is outlined below:

Audit Schedule Thumbnail

CB: Certification Body
SF: Social fingerprint


SA 8000 Surveillance Audits Thumbnail

Figure 1: New SA8000 Surveillance Audit Schedule


Changes to Surveillance Audit Schedule

Previously, most SA8000 certified organizations were required to undergo semi-annual surveillance audits each year after their initial certification.

Going forward, most organizations will be required to undergo only two on-site surveillance audits, conducted over a three-year cycle. This does not apply to multi-site certifications.

Timeline for Implementation of Annual On-Site Surveillance Audit Programs

  • All new SA8000 single site certification clients – to be applied immediately, but no later than Dec. 31, 2019 (*)
  • All established SA8000 single site certification clients – to be applied at time of next recertification contract (**)


*New SA8000 certification or recertification clients that have already been quoted and can have their audits completed by December 31, 2019 may either:

  • Continue on the basis of a previously quoted semi-annual surveillance program in accordance with Procedure 200 v. 3.1 requirements (until the time of next recertification contract), or
  • Obtain a re-quote, undertaken on the basis of a new annual surveillance program and contract, as per Figure 1

**Established SA8000 single site certification clients may:

  • Remain on a semi-annual surveillance program, in accordance with an existing contract, until that certification cycle is completed and the contract is due for renewal (i.e. no later than September 30, 2022), or
  • Upon request, transition to a new, full, three-year annual certification program and contract immediately, or at any time during the current certification cycle, providing that the required recertification visit (i.e. early recertification) is completed within six months of the organization's last audit visit

Established certification clients that have qualified for and undergone an annual surveillance program (in accordance with SAAS procedure 200 v.3.1) shall be migrated to a new annual surveillance program before December 31, 2019.

SGS enables global and local organizations to have better performing processes. Our expertise in conducting complex audits continually provides companies with reliable data, compliant management systems and more profitable competitive advantages. Work with the industry leader and take your commitment to compliance and sustainability to the next level.

Further details, explanations and guidance regarding implementation of the amended requirements can be found here.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these changes, please contact:

Deepak Mistry
Global Head (Director), Marketing & Data Science
t: +201 448 0377

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