Do you want to document your organization’s commitment to the rights of employees, the working environment, and basic human rights? With an assessment and certification to international standard SA8000, you can do exactly that. It provides evidence that you have implemented a socially responsible management system, and that you are continuously improving it. DQS conducts assessments and certifications according to SA8000 on behalf of IQNet, the world’s largest international network of certification bodies. IQNet received their accreditation for this social standard by SAAS (Social Accountability Accreditation Services)
Doing Justice To The Human Factor
SA8000 is the first auditable standard in the area of social responsibility. It was developed by the non-profit organization SAI (Social Accountability International), and is based on the conventions established by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the UN Convention for Children’s Rights.
The essential requirements of SA8000 relate to the subject areas of: child labor, forced labor, health and safety, freedom of assembly, discrimination, punishment, working hours, pay, and the management system.
The number of organizations certified to SA8000 has been increasing steadily. As of June 2012, a total of 3,083 sites had been certified in more than 65 countries throughout the world.
SA8000 not only strengthens the confidence of your employees into your organization, but also that of your supplier network. When it comes to external relationships, a commitment to social responsibility earns your organization a high degree of appreciation, thus separating yourself nicely from the competition.
SA 8000: Here’s How It Works
We conduct assessments and certifications according to SA8000 on behalf of IQNet all over the world. Our auditors speak the different countries’ respective languages and know their national labor laws. Once we have received your application, we can – if you so desire – conduct a preliminary visit to your organization. The actual certification audit will also take place on site. After receipt of the certificate, a surveillance audit , followed by a re-certification audit, will be conducted at scheduled intervals. The IQNet certificate authorizes you to use the registered “IQNet” brand, known throughout the world as a synonym for quality. In addition, your company will be registered with SAAS as a certified site. By the way: SA 8000 is very easy to integrate into existing management systems.
Benefits of SA 8000
- Initial Information
- Offer and Contract
- Stage 1 audit
- Stage 2 audit
- System Evaluation
- Surveillance audits
The process starts with the client’s needs and expectations. DQS wants to learn about the client’s organization, its management system, size and types of operation. Together both parties will define objectives for the assessment and/or certification, including applicable standards and specifications.
Offer and Contract
DQS will provide a detailed offer for assessment and certification services, tailored to individual client needs, based on the information provided initially. A written contract will specify all relevant deliverables as well as applicable assessment and certification criteria.
A pre-audit can serve as initial performance or gap analysis, identifying strengths and areas for improvement. For larger assessment and certification projects a project planning meeting provides a valuable opportunity for the client to meet the lead assessor and develop a customized assessment plan for all functions and locations involved. Both services are optional.
Stage 1 audit
The assessment procedure itself begins with review and evaluation of system documentation, goals, results of management review and internal audits. During this process, it will be determined whether the client’s management system is sufficiently developed and ready for certification. The assessor will explain findings and coordinate any required activities to prepare for the on-site system assessment.
Stage 2 audit
The assigned auditor team will audit the client’s management system at the place of production or service delivery. Applying defined management system standards and specifications, the assessment team will evaluate the effectiveness of all functional areas as well as all management system processes, based upon observations, inspections, interviews, review of pertinent records, and other assessment techniques. The audit result, including all findings will be presented to the client during the closing meeting. Required action plans will be agreed upon as necessary.
The independent certification function of DQS will evaluate the audit process and its results, and decide independently about issuance of the certificate. The client receives an audit report, documenting the audit results. When all applicable requirements are fulfilled the client also receives the certificate.
Either semi-annually or at least once per year, there will be an on-site audit of the critical components of the management system. Improvement potential will be identified, with a focus on continual improvement and sustained effectiveness.
A management system certificate is valid for a limited period of time, frequently for a maximum of three years. At the end of this cycle, a re-audit will be carried out to ensure the ongoing fulfillment of all applicable requirements. Subject to this fulfillment, a new certificate will be issued.
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