While the roadmap for obtaining this social certification may vary for each factory. We can help you in implementing the following generic roadmap:
STEP 1- Get the management commitment:
While this seems to be a very easy step, this is actually a very difficult step. Most common mistake in this step is that the top management is only given the idea of certification audit cost. Not knowing all the cost aspects of the SA 8000 certificate is a big mistake. They get financial shocks, when they find that the cost of maintaining this certificate is actually much more than the cost of acquiring the certificate. Below is a small Table outlining the SA 8000 costs:
SA 8000 COST
How much SA 8000 implementation costs
Knowing the cost is also not enough. The top management should align with the principles of SA 8000 standard. This will require development of compassion for the workers. All the members of top management first have to commit to the welfare of the workers as a broad principle. This commitment is the foundation stone to all social certifications. Once this is done, rest is a piece of cake.
STEP 2: Build Policies/Procedures and a Team :
This step can take anywhere between 30 days to 90 days depending on efforts and competence of the Team. A team is very important. This team is known as the Social Performance Team (SPT) by the SA 8000 standard. An SPT should have workers as well as members from management. The Worker-member may include a worker representative. SPT should be well trained in Risk Analysis, SA 8000 standard, and Root cause Analysis. This training should not be one time but repeated and improved. The Social Performance Team should also be involved in conducting Internal audit, and in the conduct of management reviews.
STEP 3: Apply to the certification Body:
If the above two steps are conducted comprehensively, then this step is very easy. If the first two steps are not done in a hurry, this step will become easy. The Certification Body like ours does two audits- Stage 1 and Stage 2, Each audit will result in certain observations and non-conformities. The Social Performance Team (SPT) should carefully study all observations and non-conformities and conduct root cause analysis for each and try to take corrective action which will prevent recurrence of these observations.