Social Management System Certification

Social Management System Certification, often abbreviated as SMSC, refers to the process of an organization receiving independent verification that its Social Management System (SMS) meets the requirements of a specific standard. This standard outlines a framework for organizations to manage and improve their social performance across various aspects, including:

  • Labor practices: Ensuring fair treatment of workers, upholding labor rights, and promoting a safe and healthy working environment.
  • Human rights: Respecting and protecting fundamental human rights throughout the organization’s operations and supply chain.
  • Community engagement: Building positive relationships with communities where the organization operates and contributing to their well-being.
  • Environmental stewardship: Managing environmental impacts responsibly and contributing to sustainable practices.

Here’s a deeper dive into SMSC:


  • Demonstrates an organization’s commitment to social responsibility and ethical practices.
  • Provides a framework for continuous improvement in social performance.

Benefits of obtaining SMSC:

  • Enhanced brand reputation: Shows stakeholders, including customers, investors, and employees, a commitment to responsible business practices.
  • Improved risk management: Proactive management of social risks like labor disputes or environmental incidents can mitigate potential financial and reputational damage.
  • Strengthened market access: Certification can be a requirement for certain markets or contracts, providing a competitive advantage.
  • Increased efficiency and cost savings: Effective social management can lead to improved employee morale, reduced absenteeism, and potentially lower legal costs.

Popular standards for SMSC include:

  • FSSC 24000: This standard is specifically designed for organizations in the manufacturing and processing sector. It aligns with ISO’s management system approach and incorporates the internationally recognized PAS 24000, which defines specific social performance requirements.
  • SA8000: This standard focuses on labor practices and covers aspects like child labor, forced labor, health and safety, and discrimination.

It’s important to note that:

  • SMSC is voluntary, meaning organizations choose to implement an SMS and potentially seek certification.
  • Obtaining certification involves an independent audit by a qualified body to verify compliance with the chosen standard’s requirements.

In conclusion, SMSC can be a valuable tool for organizations to demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility, improve their overall performance, and gain a competitive edge in the global marketplace.