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SA 8000, which is the first standard governing employees' working condition under Social Accountability International (SAI), provides a framework for independent assessment by a third party certification body

We refer to SA 8000 set of social accountability standards and guidance document to achieve your Factory Assessment requirements. The Social Accountability Standards deal with the following criteria:

  1. Child Labour. Prohibits child labour (under age 15 in most cases). Certified companies must also allocate funds for the education of children who might lose jobs as a result of this standard
  2. Forced Labour. Workers cannot be required to surrender their identity papers or pay "deposits" as a condition of employment.
  3. Health and Safety. Companies must meet basic standards for a safe and healthy working environment, including drinkable water, restroom facilities, applicable safety equipment, and necessary training.
  4. Freedom of Association. Protects the rights of workers to form and join trade unions and to bargain collectively, without fear of reprisals.
  5. Discrimination. No discrimination on the basis of race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, or political affiliation.
  6. Disciplinary Practices. Forbids corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion and verbal abuse of workers.
  7. Working Hours. Provides for a maximum 48-hour work week, with a minimum one day off per week, and a cap of 12 hours overtime per week remunerated at a premium rate.
  8. Compensation. Wages paid must meet all minimum legal standards and provide sufficient income for basic needs, with at least some discretionary income.
  9. Management Practices. Defines procedures for effective management implementation and review of SA 8000 compliance, from designating responsible personnel to keeping records, addressing concerns and taking corrective actions.

Acceptable Quality Level (AQL)

As MIL-STD-105E is based on random sampling, therefore a few defectives are considered acceptable. The AQL is the maximum defective rate that, for purposes of sampling inspection, can be considered satisfactory as a process average. Different AQL may be designated for different defects such as critical, major and minor defects. The AQL should be agreed upon between buyer and supplier before the start of production.

The following AQL are usually applied unless otherwise instructed by the client:

  High valued products Low or medium valued products
Critical defectives No critical defect is accepted No critical defect is accepted
Major defectives AQL 1.0 AQL 2.5
Minor defectives AQL 2.5 AQL 4.0

Acceptable quality level (AQL) sample inspection methods have been proven to be accurate over a long run. However, the quality level of merchandise at destination is sometimes lower than the per-shipment inspection results. This may be due to transport, handling, change in environment and/or reliability problems. Buyers are therefore advised to take this into consideration when deciding the AQL levels.

Defect Classification

The client defines the AQL and the maximum number of defective goods allowed in the sample size. Defects detected during visual inspection are usually classified within 3 categories: "Critical", "Major" and "Minor"

  • Critical: likely to result in unsafe condition or contravene mandatory regulation or reject by import customs.
  • Major: reduces the usability/function and/or sale of the product or is an obvious appearance defect
  • Minor: doesn't reduce the usability/function of the product, but is a defect beyond the defined quality standard more or less reduces the sale of the products.

An Individual with defect(s) is called defective sample. In the inspection process, one defective sample is counted one for the most serious defect only no matter how many defects found in the said sample.

Clients can specify what points are minor, major or critical in a defect classification checking-list together with the inspection criteria and product specification.


The below example illustrates the procedures for utilizing the single sampling plan.

Given: Sport shoes

Batch size = 8,000 pcs.

Method: level II major 2.5 & minor 4.0

Sample size = 200 pieces

Acceptance number = 10 pcs of major & 14 pcs of minor.

That means either the major defects exceed 10 pcs or minor defects exceed 14 pcs or both are considered to be "Fail".

SEDITEX uses the MIL –STD-105E standard seen in the table below:

AQL Table

Fabric inspections: ASTM D5430 4-point system (AQL)

This system is mostly used in textile industry around the globe now. This test method describes a procedure to establish a numerical designation for grading of fabrics from a visual inspection. It may be used for the delivery and acceptance of fabrics with requirements mutually agreed upon by the purchaser and the supplier. This system does not establish a quality level for a given product, but rather provides a means of defining defects according to their severity by assigning demerit point values. All type of fabrics whether grey or finished, can be graded by this system.

Defect Demerit Point
Length of defect Demerit Points
3 inches or less 1
Over 3 inches but not over 6 inches 2
Over 6 inches but not over 9 inches 3
Over 9 inches 4


  1. No running yard shall be penalized more than 4 points for warp and weft defects.
  2. For Fabric width exceeding 64"-66", Maximum penalty points can be increased above 4 per linear yard in proportion to the width.
  3. Defects appearing within one inch of either edge shall be disregarded.
  4. Any hole other than a pin hole shall be considered a major defect and assigned 4 points for penalty.


  1. Linear Yard basis:
    Acceptable tolerance=20 points per 100 linear yard
  2. Square yard basis:
    Points/100 sq. yd= Total Points scored in the bulk X 100 X 36
    Width of the roll(inch) X total yds inspected
    Acceptable tolerance=
    a. 28 points per 100 sq. yd. for each individual roll.
    b. 20 points per 100 sq.yd. for average of rolls inspected.
    1st Quality: Penalty points not exceed the acceptable tolerance.
    2nd Quality: Penalty points exceed the acceptable tolerance.
Sampling Method

Sampling method represents on which sampling level the inspection carries out and on which mathematical theories it is based. We use the MIL-STD-105E as sampling method, which is recognized international quality control standard and the most widely accepted sampling method by every industrial company. This standard now has equivalents in all nationals and international standardization organizations such as BS 6001, ABC 105, ANSI/ASQ Z1.4, NFX 06-022, ISO 2859, DIN 40.080.

They are based on mathematical theories of probability and offer the advantage of clearly defining the number of samples to be drawn for inspection from a given lot or consignment. They also suggest the maximum number of defective items allowed in the sample size.

Unless otherwise instructed, we use the Single Sampling Plan Normal Level II (according to the MIL-STD-105E standard). This is generally the common requirement for products manufactured in Vietnam.

We use the AQL Table to calculate the number of sample drawn depending on the lot or consignment quantity.

We can also specify a very simple sampling method by percentage of the consignment quantity or the given lot, for example 5%, 10%, even more…(in this case, you need also specify acceptable quality level such as 4% for Major defectives, 8% for Minor defectives...).