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February 2015
1. SA8000:2014 Certification System
2. Tribute to John C. Whitehead
3. Living Wage: Making it a Reality
4. BSCI & SA8000 Training for Trainers
5. SA8000 Basic Auditor Training: Meet a Student
6.SAI Team Grows
7. SAAS Team Grows
8. Why We Dedicate Ourselves to Human Rights at Work
9. Highlights & Announcements
Jobs & Internships 


Chief Executive Officer

SAI - New York

Pillars in Practice Program


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Top 3 News Stories 
January 2015 SAI Newsletter

1. Auditor Training - Upgrades to BSCI & SA8000 Trainings


Training Courses 

-Getting Started in Your Company

-Building Your Internal Social Performance Team  


  SA8000 Fire Safety Webinar  

Auditing for Fire Safety in the SA8000 & BSCI System
[Mandatory for SA8000/BSCI Auditors]

SA8000 Online Training 

SA8000 Online Revision Course
NGOs & Trade Unions
Complimentary seats available for NGO & trade union representatives. For more information, email SAI Training Coordinator Stephanie Wilson at ECrain@sa-intl.org.


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Social Accountability International (SAI) is a non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization established to advance the human rights of workers by promoting decent work conditions, labor rights, and corporate social responsibility through voluntary standards and capacity building. 


SAI is headquartered in the United States with field representation in Brazil, China, Costa Rica, India, the Netherlands, Philippines, Switzerland, and UAE.

SAI- Human Rights at Work

For newsletter inquiries contact: SAI Director of Operations Michelle Bhattacharyya, mbhattacharyya@sa-intl.org 

The New SA8000:2014 Certification System

 Beyond Measurement: Inclusion of Tools for Improvement


In May 2015, certification to the new SA8000: 2014 Standard becomes available. This is an exciting development, as the new Standard not only includes new requirements around emerging global labor issues and demands from stakeholders, but also involves the integration of SAI's capacity building tool, Social Fingerprint.


A prohibition on charging employment fees and costs to workers is one example of a new element related to emerging global issues. Increased worker engagement in the compliance process exemplifies the integration with Social Fingerprint.


It has long been clear that auditing and certification in themselves are not sufficient to reliably improve working conditions ("You don't fatten a pig by weighing it.") An SA8000 audit, like all audits, is a measurementof compliance and management systems at a particular point of time, that tests how well a system is being implemented. Audits can identify issues, but only with an effective correction and verification approach do they lead to correcting them. Often, either performance changes (for example, with volatility in volume of orders) or additional interventions are needed at the workplace, such as training, technical assistance, capacity building, effective enforcement of the law, and/or access to financing.


Stakeholders are demanding more than audits. They ask that governments, brands and employers move beyond audits and into more consistently effective action. They expect workplace managers and owners to participate in capacity building  and training in order to ensure that issues identified during audits are evaluated for root causes, that corrective and preventive actions are implemented and that workers themselves are actively engaged all along the process.


Such an approach has always been an integral part of SAI's work and a requirement of SA8000 system implementation. SAI has responded to the growing consensus with the development of Social Fingerprint and TenSquared. Now, as of May 2015, Social Fingerprint has been integrated into the SA8000 system on a trail basis. Thus initial capacity building is now required at the application stage before an audit is performed,  enable applicants to determine whether or not they are ready for certification. Social Fingerprint will provide an initial measurement of their management system and highlight areas of improvement.


Social Fingerprint has been used independently of SA8000 for several years as a means for companies to measure and improve their management systems. It looks beyond code violations to evaluate the underlying processes essential to a high-level social performance. It explains the processes in terms of 10 key categories that can enable a company to improve:

  1. Management System Policies, Procedures and Records
  2. Social Performance Team
  3. Identification and Assessment of Risks
  4. Monitoring
  5. Internal Involvement and Communication
  6. Complaint Management and Resolution
  7. External Verification and Stakeholder Engagement
  8. Corrective and Preventive Actions
  9. Training and Capacity Building
  10. Management of Suppliers and Contractors

These 10 categories were used to revise the Management System element of SA8000: 2014. Thus, the 10 categories in Social Fingerprint match the 10 parts of SA8000: 2014's Management System section. As part of certification to SA8000: 2014, organisations must start with the Social Fingerprint self-assessment.


The assessments take participants through questions in each of the 10 process categories and provide a Social Fingerprint score (Levels 1 through 5) in each of the 10 categories, and an overall score. This enables the applicant to understand how it's currently doing and what it can target for improvement. The SA8000: 2014 Guidance Document (forthcoming Spring 2015) will include in its management system section a guide on how to move up levels in order to improve.


One of the major advantages of the integration of Social Fingerprint into the SA8000 audit process is that applicants may quickly and efficiently find out before an audit is conducted whether they are likely to be found to comply with SA8000. Thus, the self-assessment may be used as a capacity-building tool for internal auditors and compliance managers. It provides a step-by-step approach to developing and implementing management systems for social performance. The process-based, measure-and-improve approach encourages transparency and dialogue rather than audit-driven compliance. The self-assessment takes only 1-2 hours to complete.


SAI's shared vision is: Decent work everywhere - sustained by widespread understanding that decent work can benefit business while securing basic human rights. SA8000: 2014 is one part of what we do to reach this vision. We hope that the integration of Social Fingerprint will build the capacity of organisations around the world to understand what it takes to ensure decent workplaces. 

Yet, SAI recognizes that voluntary compliance standards are only one part of what is needed to ensure decent work.  To that end, SAI calls on governments worldwide to effectively enforce their labor laws, all those regulations that are consistent with ILO conventions. SAI itself has developed a wide array of training and technical assistance programs to inspire and implement the voluntary aspects that support and often go well beyond regulatory requirements. 


For more information, please contact SAI's Senior Manager of Research and Stakeholder Relations, Alex Katz, at akatz@sa-intl.org

Tribute to John C. Whitehead
Long Time Supporter of SAI Dies at 92

SAI grieves the loss of long time supporter and trusted adviser, John C. Whitehead.

John Whitehead is revered in the business world as a trusted Chairman of Goldman Sachs who built the company a stellar reputation and led its rapid growth. Mr. Whithead's career extended far beyond business, it's the story of extraordinary public service. He served his country in the Navy and as the Deputy Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan. He served his city as head of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, charged with rebuilding some of the most affected areas of Manhattan after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. And he served the world through his choices in supporting global organizations like the Asia Society and SAI. 

Note from Alice Tepper Marlin:

"I met Mr. Whitehead in 1971, when our first conversation, a most engaging one, was recorded in a photo in a People Magazine profile of me. Thereafter, we met annually and Mr. Whitehead contributed year after year to SAI and its predecessor organization the Council on Economic Priorities (CEP) by offering both financial support and sage advice. He was one of the business celebrities who presented awards at CEP's America's Corporate Conscience Awards ceremony, along with Paul Newman, Harry Belafonte, Judy Collins, Gloria Steinem and many others.

At the moment the Twin Towers were hit by terrorist planes, John and I were together in a seminar in London. Alerted, we rushed to a TV to watch in horror the strike on the second tower. For 5 days, we would have dinner together, comparing notes, then were finally able to get one of the first flights home. From day one, John was on the phone with top decision makers in the US government and private sector crafting immediate plans for the temporary closure and the ultimately successful recovery of the stock market. Of course, we were also desperately trying to find out if our loved ones and work colleagues were alive, no easy task as communications were down. I felt supremely privileged to share a bit of that dreadful time with John. 

Do read the excellent obituary in the NY Times. The entire team at SAI sends our condolences to his family. The world has lost a great supporter of human rights and a truly selfless and effective doer of good deeds on a grand scale."

Living Wage: Making it a Reality
SAI Releases Webinar


SAI is proud to release Living Wage: Making it a Reality, a for-purchase webinar that costs USD $75. This is the first in a series of two living wage webinars that SAI plans to release; we are currently developing an additional Living Wage webinar that will focus on the calculation and valuation of in-kind benefits.

We designed this webinar to teach as wide a range of interested stakeholders about:

1) the living wage;

2) an innovative and localized methodology for its calculation; and

3) the significant effort that must be dedicated to its implementation.

After taking this webinar and the interactive quizzes, participants will be familiar with the concept of the living wage and understand the need for and implications of it. They will also understand the basics of the Anker methodology of assessing a Living Wage. Finally, by listening to different stakeholders' voices, participants will be able to understand how the living wage is relevant to them and explain their own role in supporting and implementing the living wage.

Please find the link to the webinar here, and please do share it with contacts in your network.

Please note: The webinar is classified as "Structured Learning" by SAAS Procedure 305, Continuing Education Framework, because it is highly "interactive and highly participative." Therefore, users should expect to be actively engaged for the entire two hour webinar in order to absorb the information presented, which includes interactive quizzes embedded throughout the webinar.

The webinar has the added benefit for auditors of counting for two Continuing Education (CE) credits.  By taking this and the next webinar in the series, auditors will be able to earn four (4) out of the 12 required annual CE credits. In order to earn credits, auditors and Certification Bodies are required to keep on file the automatically generated record of course completion.  
For more information, please contact SAI's Senior Manager of Research and Stakeholder Relations, Alex Katz, at akatz@sa-intl.org

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BSCI & SA8000 Training for Trainers Builds Expertise

A Teamwork Approach


SAI and SAAS Representatives Attending the Train the Trainers Sessions in New York








Can you guess what these numbers are? Read on. They're part of the story of the team that came together in NYC on January 7-11, 2015 for our SAI-SAAS Joint Training of Trainers Workshop. Twenty-eight HQ staff, global trainers and accreditation auditors from US, Canada, India, UK, China, Philippines and Costa Rica braved the freezing NYC winter to take part in the Workshop, which had a packed agenda:

  • Updates to the SA8000:2014 Standard
  • Updates to the BSCI System
  • Upgrades to SA8000 & BSCI Auditor Training (Innovations in Instructional Design/Accelerated Learning)
  • Guest sessions:
    • Daniel Manitsky, Rapid Results Institute - Accelerated Learning: The Art of Facilitating Group Exercises 
    • Mitchell Karp and Lois Jeffers, VallotKarp Consulting LLCOur Role as SAI & SAAS Ambassadors - Cross-Cultural and Gender Sensitivity  
    • Monica Rowe - Eileen Fischer Inc. - Our Role as SAI & SAAS Ambassadors: Effective Communications 

In addition to the technical training, the Workshop was important for team-building and sharing, as both SAI and SAAS embark on their respective new 5-year strategic plans. Everyone left the Workshop in high spirits, with key priorities and 100-day projects to jump-start 2015.


So what were the numbers above? Collectively, they represent a sample of 15 team-members that we informally surveyed at the Workshop - reminding us of our team's impressive expertise and experience!


16, 270: estimated # of audits they have conducted

5,000: estimated # of trainings they have conducted

7,449: estimated # of projects they participated in leading

28: estimated # of industries they have supported

255: # of years of experience this team has worked in our field


For more information, please contact SAI Chief Operating Officer, Jane Hwang at jhwang@sa-intl.org, or SAAS Executive Director, Rochelle Zaid at RZaid@saasaccreditation.org


SA8000 Basic Auditor Training

Meet a Student

On November 3-7, SAI held the SA8000 Basic Auditor Training Course in New York City, led by lead trainer, Richard Rowe. This 5-day classroom course provides practical knowledge on the main issues of social auditing and performance, using the SA8000 management systems approach. The course covers key topics such as core concepts and background on social compliance in the supply chain as well as social auditing, understanding the elements of the SA8000 standard, review of common compliance problems and possible solutions, effective auditing techniques related to each social compliance element, and effective methods for managing risk in a facility or across a whole supply chain.


SAI believes that NGOs and trade unions play a critical role in helping to ensure human rights at work around the world an grants pro bono seats to many nonprofit participants. At the end of this recent course, SAI sat down with a non-profit participant to learn more about their job and personal takeaways from the course. 

Meet Trini Gantner, Standards Manager, from Fair Trade USA

SAI: Where did you first find out about this course? 
Trini Gantner: I've known about SAI and this course for a long time but never had the opportunity to participate until this November.


SAI: What interested you in taking the course? 
TG: Fair Trade USA's Apparel and Home Goods Factory Standard leans on SA8000 -- to avoid contributing to the problem of audit fatigue at apparel factories, Fair Trade USA formed a partnership with Social Accountability International (SAI) and its certifier Social Accountability Accreditation Systems (SAAS) to combine audits and streamline Fair Trade certification for SA8000-certified facilities. Fair Trade USA conducted a gap analysis between the SA8000 standard and its own pilot standards, and trained SAAS-accredited Certification Bodies to be able to audit against Fair Trade elements, in addition to the core labor standards shared between SA8000 and Fair Trade standards.

SAI: What were your expectations? Were they met? 
TG: Yes, my expectations were met. It is as important to understand how a standard is audited as it is to understand what the standard actually says - especially in areas where you have a lot of similarity and/or overlap between requirements. In addition, there are always many gray areas; learning strategies on how SA8000 trained auditors handle these many gray areas has been very insightful.


SAI: How do you think you will integrate the information learned from this course into your job? 
TG: By attending this training, I gained more practical knowledge on how the SA8000 standard is audited and gained a deeper knowledge of common compliance problems. Learning more about risk factors across supply chains will help in creating solutions to compliance problems by developing stronger standards around concepts that are not covered by SA8000. I plan to use the knowledge gained in this course to be an active participant in the community of social auditing and performance and contribute to the common goal we all strive for regardless of affiliation - to increase the livelihood of factory workers.


SAI: In your opinion, name the one moment or story that was the most memorable or meaningful to you.
TG: The most memorable single moment was to watch the videos on how fast fire spreads and the risk that poses. It reinforced why it is so important to have a proper health and safety strategy in place.

Richard has a great sense of humor, I thought he was super knowledgeable and always ready to answer questions. It was great to get to know the other participants better during the happy hour, hear what challenges they are facing and how this training will help them. It was also nice to meet different folks from SAI and hear what their roles and responsibilities are.


SAI: Would you recommend this to any of your colleagues?
TG: Absolutely!

For more information about SA8000 Courses please contact Training Coordinator, Emily Crain at ECrain@sa-intl.org

SAI Team Grows

Introducing New Staff and Staff Newly Promoted


SAI is proud to introduce a new addition to the team and announce new promotions. It is all part of building a stronger SAI.


Newly Hired


Corporate Programs Coordinator - Ramona



As the Corporate Programs Coordinator, Ramona works on the overall organization and delivery of SAI's various corporate programs and services.  Ramona comes to SAI with a varied background in the fashion industry-from retail management, wholesale account executive and production assistant functions. Ramona studied at the New School, where she earned her undergraduate degree in Global Studies with a concentration in International Development.  During her time there she was a visiting fellow at the University of Johannesburg, where she participated in a research group focused on rethinking development strategies through supply chain analysis of mineral mines in South Africa and Zimbabwe.  Her thesis research focused on industrial manufacturing and its relationship to socio-economic development in the garment industry in Bangladesh.


Newly Promoted


Alicia Mara Linkedin
Program Associate - Alicia Mara


SAI is very happy to announce the promotion of Alicia Mara to the position of Program Associate as of January 2015.

 In her new role, Alicia will work on teams across the organization managing the design, production and distribution of program materials including case studies, handbooks, and project reports. She will also carry out the development, design, and distribution of marketing and communication materials and support the training department through marketing of courses and analyzing course impact. Alicia is also responsible for providing high-level support to the president and managing the full logistics of bi-annual Advisory Board meetings as well as Board of Director meetings.

Since joining SAI full-time in January 2014, Ms. Mara has played a key role in the Training Department by managing post-course responsibilities and implementing departmental improvements. Alicia also successfully managed the logistics and preparation for two Advisory Board meetings in New York, NY and Palo Alto, CA. In addition, Alicia has been instrumental in material and presentation design across various SAI projects as well as SAI's monthly newsletter.

Alicia Mara joined SAI with high honors from the University at Buffalo with a B.A. in International Studies and Music, and a minor in Chinese. She has an established interest in human rights and has done extensive volunteer work, most significantly with refugees and their resettlement,  and served as Vice President of the Amnesty International UB Chapter. Ms. Mara was also selected to represent her university in Student Leadership International Dialogue and Exchange programs in Beijing, China and London, England. Alicia is highly motivated and eager to continue furthering SAI's mission of human rights at work.



Training Manager - Emily Crain


SAI is very pleased to announce the promotion of Emily Crain to the position of Training Manager as of January 2015.


Upon joining SAI two years ago, Emily quickly learned to juggle multiple responsibilities as SAI's Training Coordinator. She helped exceed our 2013 and 2014 participation goals for auditor training and managed the development and delivery of the SA8000 Revision webinars, BSCI auditor upgrade courses and the Living Wage: Making it a Reality webinar. Furthermore, Emily has significantly improved operations and processes for all of our courses in general.


In her new role as Training Manager, Emily will manage the planning, operations and expansion of all public classroom trainings, including Auditor and Professional Development courses, as well as our online training. She will supervise the trainers for these courses and manage their qualification, work-planning and calibration.  In addition, she will contribute to the development of training curricula and publications.


In mid-2014 Ms. Crain earned her Master's degree at NYU's Global Affairs program. Prior to her studies at NYU, Ms. Crain earned her B.A.  in Peace and Conflict Resolution, with a minor in Sociology, at Chapman University. She has extensive field experience - she has led after-school classes on HIV/AIDS education and outreach in South Africa and workshops for juvenile youth and gangs in Nicaragua.   Emily has a long-standing interest in human rights and is excited to continue furthering our mission to advance the human rights of workers.

SAI Partner, SAAS Team Grows

Introducing New Staff


SAAS is proud to introduce a new addition to the team. This new position is an important roll in managing the audit program for BSCI, a key strategic partner for SAI and SAAS.


Newly Hired


SAAS Program Manager (BSCI) - Nicole Platt 

The Program Manager (BSCI) is responsible for oversight of the SAAS-BSCI system, undertaking data analysis, and developing metrics, indicators and using the related data to improve SAAS processes and procedures.  The Program Manager coordinates activities with the Program Coordinator and manages implementation of the database.  


Nicole Platt is the Program Manager for SAAS. In this position, Ms. Platt manages the oversight, programming, and reporting for SAAS as well as the supervision of accredited certifying bodies as they audit to the BSCI standards. She is also responsible for the oversight of SAAS's operational database. Prior to joining SAAS, Ms. Platt supported the strategic initiatives and analyzed data for the Executive Management Team at Teach For All. She also consulted for NYC Mayor's Office of Operations on issues of performance management and program assessment. Ms. Platt previously managed corporate social responsibility audit programs for one of the international certification bodies. Ms. Platt holds a Master of Science in Urban Policy Analysis and Management from The New School for Public Engagement and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Rutgers University. As a graduate student, Ms. Platt served as a policy advisor for students evaluating issues of economic and community development, participatory budgeting, criminal justice, and campaign finance. 

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Why We Dedicate Our Lives to Human Rights at Work
Program Manager Lisa Bernstein on Decade at SAI, then at SAAS

"I starting working for SAI more than 13 years ago.  I hold a deep commitment to making the world a better place.  In 2001, I was looking to work for an organization whose mission would contribute to that commitment - or rather, that I could contribute to improving the world and feel good about going to work every day.  I sit at a desk, behind a computer every day - so, while I may not be at the front lines of poverty alleviation or healing the sick, I understand that my work can play a small part in impacting the lives of people around the world.  And I feel really good about that.  So, while I came to work at SAI because of the mission, I continue now to work at its partner organization, SAAS, because of the impact of the organization.  Plus, I really like the people I get to work with - they inspire me every day and help make work less of a chore and more part of being a family."

Highlights & Announcements
UL Responsible Sourcing Summit
SAI Staff members Christie Daly (Manager, Corporate Programs) and Craig Moss (Executive Advisor) will be presenting SAI's Ten Squared project and Living Wage work at the UL Responsible Sourcing Summit in Los Angeles, CA on March 3-4, 2015.

BSCI Stakeholder Council Meeting
SAI President and CEO, Alice Tepper Marlin, will attend the BSCI Stakeholder Council Meeting in Brussels to present TenSquared on March 16, 2015.

Intertek Ethical Sourcing Forum
SAI Staff member Alex Katz (Senior Manager, Research and Stakeholder Relations) will be presenting SAI's Living Wage work at the Intertek Ethical Sourcing Forum in New York, NY on March 26, 2015.