Social Accountability 8000 (SA8000) has been developed by Social Accountability International (SAI), known until recently as the Council on Economic Priorities Accreditation Agency.

SA8000 is promoted as a voluntary, universal standard for companies interested in auditing and certifying labour practices in their facilities and those of their suppliers and vendors. It is designed for independent third party certification.

SA8000 is based on the principles of international human rights norms as described in International Labour Organisation conventions, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It measures the performance of companies in eight key areas: child labour, forced labour, health and safety, free association and collective bargaining, discrimination, disciplinary practices, working hours and compensation. SA8000 also provides for a social accountability management system to demonstrate ongoing conformance with the standard.

SA 8000 standard is composed of 9 requirements:

Child labour is not permitted
Forced labour is not permitted
Health and safety have to be assured
Freedom to organize and collective bargaining have to be guaranteed
Discrimination is not permitted
Disciplinary practices are not permitted
Working hours shall not exceed 48 hrs a week, with a maximum of 12 hrs overtime
Remuneration shall be sufficient
Management systems shall guarantee that the Requirements are effectively satisfied
De system regularly consults with international experts on ways to strengthen
social accountability and the SA8000 guidance documents.

Who should apply :-
1) Companies seeking to independently verify their social record.
2) Companies seeking to independently verify their own social record and that of their contractor.Contractors that produce goods for U.S. and European companies and wish to demonstrate to companies and consumers that they are treating workers development
3) Multilateral organizations seeking to ensure that they procure from companies that are not exploitative.