The University of Pennsylvania has implemented a policy requiring all companies producing its collegiate apparel to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.

The university said a recommendation from its Committee on Manufacturer Responsibility requires all licensees that source, produce or purchase collegiate apparel in Bangladesh to become signatories of the Accord and to abide by its requirements "as soon as possible".

The Accord was implemented following the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in April, which killed more than 1,100 people. It establishes a fire and building safety programme by which manufacturers and retailers must abide to improve working conditions. To date, over 100 companies have signed up.

"As part of the license issuance and renewal processes, Penn will verify whether apparel licensees source, produce or purchase collegiate apparel in Bangladesh and will ensure that they are signatories of the Accord prior to granting or renewing a license," the university said.

Penn is understood to be one of the first universities to take this step.