Social Accountability

Companies are increasingly being held accountable for their social impacts across the supply chain, with consumers looking closely at business’ ethics and social practices. Organizations are expected to be fully transparent. They need to demonstrate a responsible approach to labor, materials sourcing, production, workplace equality and more

Bureau Veritas offers audits and third party certification to several standards for social and ethical business practices across the value chain. These solutions help clients boost their reputation and build stakeholder trust. With certification from Bureau Veritas, companies can credibly prove claims of fair and ethical treatment of employees and contractors, and implementation of best practices throughout the supply chain.

Spotlighting social and ethical responsibility

Consumers are increasingly aware of the social and ethical impacts of their purchases, pushing companies’ responsible labor, sourcing and social policies into the spotlight. Bureau Veritas audits client organizations’ ethical business practices. We offer Social Accountability (SA8000) certification, the internationally accepted standard for social responsibility, and conduct SEDEX Members Ethical Trade Audits (SMETA) and customized social audits.  Bureau Veritas also provides audits with a strong focus on social and ethical responsibility for specific industries, including pharmaceuticals, metal and steel.

Promoting GENDER EQUALITY in the workplace

Creating an equitable workplace where men and women are treated equally and fairly is key to attracting top talent and improving company reputation. Bureau Veritas certifies organizations to Gender Equality standards, helping businesses define areas for improvement and take action to support equal opportunities and representation for women.


Related documents

WEBINAR: Using social compliance audits to ensure ethical sourcing across your supply chain


SA8000 Certification Process


Bureau Veritas partners with you to devise the right certification program based on your organization’s particular needs and priorities. This means determining which management systems to audit, and for how many sites. 

For SA8000 Management System Certification, Bureau Veritas Geographic Certification Scope covers the following countries:  Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Vietnam

Registering on SAI Database: the organization seeking SA8000 certification shall register on SAI Database by selecting Bureau Veritas as your certification Body. To access the database, please click on the link below, or copy and paste the link directly into your browser:

Performing Maturity Declaration (MD): formerly termed the “Independent Evaluation”, the MD is the assessment the auditor makes of the maturity of your management systems. Bureau Veritas Auditor will verify that you have completed and paid for the Self-Assessment within 6 months before the Stage 1 or Recertification audits.

The tools included in the certification process are:

  • Self-Assessment: Completed by the organization applying for an SA8000 certification, the self-assessment helps the organization gain an understanding of its management system maturity.
  • Maturity Declaration (formerly “Independent Evaluation”): Completed by Bureau Veritas Lead auditor, the independent evaluation is a verification of the organization’s management system maturity and helps the organization identify strengths and weaknesses in its management system.


The pre-audit is an optional audit that evaluates your management system against specific requirements of the standard SA8000 to which you are seeking certification. Bureau Veritas provides a report detailing its findings and shall consist of non-binding findings with no recommended solutions. A pre-assessment audit shall be performed prior to the initial Stage 1 audit and shall not be performed in lieu of a Stage 1 audit. The time spent on a pre-assessment audit shall not be considered part of the Stage 1 and/or Stage 2 process.


Bureau Veritas evaluates your readiness for a stage II audit through an initial assessment of various criteria such as your understanding of the standard’s requirements, the scope of your management system and your internal audit systems. The category of findings raised during a Stage 1 audit shall only be Risk of non-conformance & Observations.


Bureau Veritas auditor reviews your management system and provides a detailed report of findings, including nonconformities, observations and opportunities for improvement where relevant. You will have a limited amount of time to implement corrective actions in the case of any non-conformities. The gap between stage I & stage II audit shall not be more than six months.


After completion of all necessary audits, Bureau Veritas conducts an impartial review of findings and decides whether or not to grant certification.  


All surveillance audits shall be conducted as semi-announce audits and within a window period of lower and higher permissible limits. Follow-up reviews shall be conducted after each surveillance audit and post-recertification audit as per the window period defined in SAAS procedure 200. The Follow-up reviews may be conducted onsite or Offsite.


Full certification reassessment takes place automatically every three years to ensure ongoing conformity. This must be completed six months before the expiry of the existing Certificate of Approval. Careful scheduling of the recertification audit is crucial to avoiding lapses in certification. 


Special audits are typically performed for the following reasons:

  • Extension/expansion of a client organisation’s scope of SA8000 certification.
  • To investigate a complaint, whether generated internally, from a stakeholder, from a client organisation or from SAAS.
  • As part of a calibration/duplicate audit process.
  • To verify on-site, the effectiveness of a Corrective Action Plan produced as a response to the raising of a Critical, Major or Time-Bound nonconformity.
  • As the result of issues raised during a Follow-Up Review.


Bureau Veritas might refuse, suspend, withdraw, expand or reduce the scope of certification, extend or cancel the Certificate of Approval at any time and shall give the client written notice. If such actions are deemed necessary by Bureau Veritas, the client will be fully briefed and will be given every possible opportunity to take corrective action before a final decision is taken on what action Bureau Veritas should take after the expiration of such notification period. Unannounced visits / Special Audits may also be conducted as a follow-up on clients whose certification has been suspended. Suspension is lifted and certification is restored upon satisfactory clearance of non-conformities and verification by Bureau Veritas of the compliance of client’s management system.