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Author: L. Bernstein Approval: R.

Zaid

Social Accountability Accreditation Services SAAS Procedure 200: SA8000 Advisory 200-13

Issue: 1 Effective: May 25, 2012

SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY ACCREDITATION SERVICES

To: All SAAS-Accredited Organizations and Accreditation Applicants


Subject: Frequency of SA8000 Surveillance Audits Background:
Since its inception, the SA8000 system has required semi-annual surveillance audits of every SA8000 certified facility. SAI and SAAS seek to recognize the commitment certified facilities have to compliance and have demonstrated confidence and improvement in their internal management systems as they relate to SA8000. Therefore, SAAS, in consultation with SAI and other stakeholders, has reviewed whether annual surveillance audits may be permissible. It should be noted that whether annual or semi-annual surveillance audits are required, the number of audit days in total for the year shall remain the same.

Status: SAAS Procedure 200, section 2.19 2.21 shall be deleted and replaced with the following:
2.19 All SA8000 certified facilities must undergo periodic surveillance audits. The surveillance scheduling shall include at least those issues defined in section 9.3.2 in ISO/IEC 17021:2011 and those identified in Procedure 200, element 2.8. The frequency of such surveillance audits shall be determined as follows: a. Initial certification cycle: Six-month semi-annual surveillances shall be required for all SA8000 certified facilities for the initial certification cycle of three years, except: at the request of the certification client, micro enterprises (defined as ten or less employees) shall be allowed, after the first six month audit and the second twelve month unannounced audit, annual surveillance audits. Should the number of employees increase to more than ten within the initial certification cycle, the frequency of the required SA8000 surveillance audits shall revert to six month semi-annual surveillances. Recertification cycle: Prior to undertaking recertification, the Certification Body shall conduct an analysis of their SA8000 client in order to determine whether the client could be a candidate for less frequent surveillances this analysis shall include a review of the clients performance history throughout their previous accreditation cycle and the risk associated with reducing semi-annual surveillances. At minimum, the Certification Body shall evaluate the history of effectiveness of a clients social accountability management system in considering moving the client to an annual surveillance requirement. In addition to an effective management system, the client must have demonstrated improvement in that system over the course of previous audits. 1. Based upon that analysis, at the request of their client, the CB shall determine whether the SA8000 client is eligible for annual surveillances or must continue with semi-annual surveillances. The CB shall document evidence of the analysis undertaken for each client and the conclusion reached based on this evidence. This evidence and subsequent conclusions shall be available for review by SAAS during accreditation and surveillance audits. The process for this analysis and resultant decision on frequency of audits shall be documented in the CBs certification procedures, including the identification of the person/position authorized to take this decision and the required qualifications for this person to take this decision.

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Procedure 200: SA8000 Advisory 200-13: Version: May 2012

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Author: L. Bernstein Approval: R. Zaid

Social Accountability Accreditation Services SAAS Procedure 200: SA8000 Advisory 200-13

Issue: 1 Effective: May 25, 2012

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All Certification Bodies shall conduct a minimum of one unannounced audit in each three year certification cycle. Notes: 1. The CB shall develop and document a qualification and approval process for those CB staff making audit frequency determinations. SAAS expects that the same staff involved in the certification decision process would input to the audit frequency determinations. The CB shall have a process to, at minimum, annually review the clients performance and justify the frequency of surveillance audits throughout the clients certification cycle. Records of such reviews shall be maintained by the CB head office and shall be reviewed by accreditation auditors during office audits The raising of a major CAR (or repeated minor CARs on the same issue), among other concerns, indicates the need to revert the client back to a semi-annual surveillance schedule and for additional unannounced audits. The CB shall maintain ongoing and effective communication with their client between required surveillance audits. The CB shall, as part of its quarterly reporting on certified facilities, report to SAAS the surveillance frequency of every certified client, in addition to the current requirements of Procedure 200, element 6.8. This reporting mechanism will be part of the current 616A reporting sheet. Companies with additional schemes such as ISO 9001, 14001, etc. should not automatically be moved to an annual schedule lest they diminish the effectiveness of the SA8000 audit. The same performance and risk analysis shall be done for these clients as required for all other clients. Accredited Certification Bodies may choose to continue to require all their SA8000 certified clients to undergo semi-annual surveillance audits.

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Effective Date: This procedure shall be effective on May 25, 2012. This form must be signed, dated, and returned to SAAS upon your receipt, no later than June 1, 2012. Implementation: All SAAS-accredited CBs are required to implement this Advisory into their internal procedures governing SA8000, with the exception of those electing to opt out as permitted by Note 6, above. CBs that will conform to these requirements must complete incorporation of this Advisory into their procedures and operations by August 1, 2012.

Signature: Date: Company Name:

Printed Name:

Procedure 200: SA8000 Advisory 200-13: Version: May 2012

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