Apply for a License

We value, appreciate, and respect each company that applies for a UCLA license. Not every company that applies for a UCLA license is granted one but we endeavor to provide constructive feedback to all applicants.

UCLA considers the unique product, retail channel, and other strategic capabilities and benefits of each applicant.

A priority for UCLA in its review of each applicant is to understand the status of ethical labor management practices implementation throughout their supply chain. UCLA seeks to license companies who not only commit to producing products under fair, safe, and humane working conditions in accordance with the University of California’s Trademark Licensing Code of Conduct (UC Code), but who demonstrate management processes that enable them to achieve progress toward implementation of these standards throughout their supply chain.

 

ethical

 

We make licensing decisions, both new and renewal agreements, based on a licensee’s demonstrated implementation of labor standards consistent with those in the UC Code. We recognize that such implementation is a process of continuous improvement, and value and reward those licensees who engaged in the necessary work. Please refer to the Social Responsibility section for additional information

This information is provided to help explain the steps and expectations when applying for a UCLA license. We invite you to read this information carefully so that your company’s application for license may include all necessary information to enable UCLA to make an informed, and hopefully favorable, decision concerning your company’s application.

We review every application we receive and focus our efforts on identifying licensees who:

  • Have unique product offers
  • Have established retailer relationships and capabilities
  • Have demonstrated their efforts to implement UC Code standards
  • Are actively engaged in an ongoing commitment to ethical labor practices
  • Are willing to describe and document their methodology and current level of progress regarding the ethical labor management program
  • Are willing to engage in a process of continuous improvement, including training and capacity building efforts, toward meeting UC Code standards throughout their supply chain

This is why our application process will take a little longer.

Prepare

The following information provides a deeper understanding of what we’re looking for. It describes what is expected from our licensees, from the Standard License application process, and how you can prepare for it.

Please read it carefully.

  1. Review the University of California Code of Conduct (“UC Code”)

Why? Our Code of Conduct describes our policy.

We seek to license those companies who have adopted a code of conduct and related policies that meet or exceed the standards of the UC Code. Read More »

  1. Select the most qualified, most knowledgeable person to respond to the Corporate Responsibility Questionnaire (“CRQ”).

Why? As part of completing the Standard License application you’ll be asked to complete the CRQ.

This is a critical piece of the application—we recommend careful preparation before you begin the submission process. We highly recommend taking advantage of the preparation steps outlined here. Your response to the CRQ questions is a critical step in the license application process that helps us understand your company’s efforts to maintain a transparent supply chain and to implement labor standards aligned with those of UCLA. Incomplete, uninformed, or weak responses can cause your application to be rejected or delayed. Read More »

 

  1. Prepare your responses to the list of questions below:

Why?

Whether your company is planning on applying for a new license agreement or submitting a renewal application, you will be asked to provide insight pertaining to:

  • Your company’s Code of Conduct
  • How your company’s business practices align with your Code of Conduct
  • How your company’s Code of Conduct aligns with the UC Code of Conduct and other international labor standards-based codes
  • Ways in which your company ensures transparency in your supply chain
  • Actions your company is taking to engage with its supply chain factories
  • Ways in which your company proactively identifies areas of risk for labor standards non-compliances in its supply chain
  • Steps your company has taken/is taking to engage in corrective actions in the instance of non-compliances
  • Examples of corrective actions that your company has implemented
  • Substantive ways in which your company strives to continuously improve your level of corporate social responsibility
  • How your company is unique in contrast to the competition
  • How your product(s) are unique
  • The unique market segment that your company is targeting

Tip: When responding to the questions in the application, make sure you clearly reflect what your company is doing, not what others have done. Make sure that the work-product you provide in response to these questions (i.e. monitoring reports, corrective action plans, other assessments, etc.) is work product developed by or contracted for by your company or that your company utilized to engage further with the factory to ensure corrective action is sustained.

Submit

U.S. license applications only: This is an overview of the submission process for companies that wish to obtain a license for sales/distribution in the U.S. market along with answers to some questions you might have.

International license applications: All companies wishing to apply for sales/distribution in any international/non-U.S. territory should contact the Director of UCLA Trademarks & Licensing

NOTE: This is not the submission page. All applicants for a U.S. territory license should submit their application through our U.S. licensing agent, IMG College Licensing (IMGCL). See below for information on IMGCL and a link to their site where you’ll complete and submit the application.

  1. What type of license is required to become a UCLA licensee?

You’ll need to apply for a Standard License.

  1. How do I access the Standard License Application?

The application is available on the IMG College Licensing site.

  1. Who is IMGCL?

IMG College Licensing (IMGCL) is UCLA’s licensing representative for the U.S. market. They provide administrative and systems support including processing licensing applications, collecting royalty payments, enforcing against unauthorized use of the UCLA marks, and pursuing new product and retail channel opportunities.

  1. Why can’t I apply for one of the other types of licenses?

UCLA requires the Standard License because it supports a more robust set of tools that UCLA uses to measure licensed product sales, retail channel and individual licensee performance. The Standard License also includes, at UCLA’s request, a survey of key performance indicators (“KPI”) pertaining to an applicant’s management of ethical labor practices throughout its supply chain. While the completion and processing of this survey means your company’s application for a UCLA licensee will take longer than the average, these KPIs represent a key consideration for UCLA in making its licensee selections. Thank you for your understanding and please give ample time and attention to completing the survey.

  1. What is entailed in the application and submission process?

The IMGCL site provides clear instructions on the process including applicable fees, royalty rates, the ethical labor survey requirement, etc.

  1. What happens after I complete the application and click the SUBMIT button?
  • IMGCL* will process the application.
  • Once processed, IMGCL will forward your application to UCLA.
  • UCLA will review the application, especially the ethical labor management survey questions, and determine whether to issue a license agreement.
  • If approved by UCLA IMGCL will notify you of UCLA’s decision and issue a license agreement if applicable.
  • IMGCL will request that you submit graphics for review and approval. (The IMG website will provide the specifics on which graphics and the specifications.) 
  1. Who makes the final decision?

UCLA Trademarks & Licensing makes the final decision on whether or not to grant a license or a conditional license.

Commit

Monitoring and maintaining a transparent supply chain that promotes ethical work environments is a journey of continuous improvement, not an event. This is an overview of the submission process along with answers to some questions you might have.

What if my company does not yet meet UCLA expectations for UC Code standards implementation?

A “Conditional License” may be an option.

We know, and licensees who are engaged in implementation know, there is rarely such a thing as a perfect factory and supply chain. Instead, a willingness to first identify problems and their root causes, and to then vigorously pursue implementation of sustainable corrective action, becomes the process through which continuous improvement can be achieved.

Companies who demonstrate a willingness to align with these standards but have not yet reached a level required for a standard UCLA license may be considered by UCLA to receive a conditional license. This type of license requires the licensee to commit to a plan for improvement and take on additional activities such as training modules, mentored external monitoring programs, consultant services, etc.

If your company is awarded a conditional license, UCLA will communicate and discuss these conditions with your company so that your company’s leadership may determine whether or not to proceed with pursuing a UCLA license.

If your company is not offered the opportunity for a conditional license or is unable to accept the terms of a conditional license offer, you are welcome to reapply on or after one year’s time. It will be important that your company take this time to consider and implement management processes and procedures that expand its capacity to meet the expectations of the UC Code. Please always feel welcome to reach out us with additional questions concerning UCLA’s decision concerning your company’s license application.


What are the conditions of a UCLA’s conditional license?

“Continuous Improvement” acknowledges that “perfect” is rare.   Current UCLA licensees and new applicants are asked to demonstrate their current level of progress toward implementing effective systems to promote international labor standards compliance throughout their supply chains. Depending on where a company is along the “continuous improvement” journey, if they demonstrate the necessary level of engagement, UCLA may still make a license offer but include conditions that add more structure to facilitate a licensee’s progress during the subsequent contract year. Examples of such conditions include:

  • Training: Appropriate employees of the licensee are expected to complete designated training courses, such as those in Elevate’s eLearning Store or through the Fair Labor Association training resources, and to then use this information to develop and refine its responsible sourcing efforts. Licensees are expected to then share/report on these steps as part of its response to UCLA’s annual licensee survey.
  • Code Alignment: That the licensee is expected to adopt a code of conduct that meets or exceeds the standards of the UC Code of Conduct and demonstrate bona fide alignment through its actions to implement these standards.
  • External Monitoring and Verification: The licensee is expected to take steps to identify and engage credible third party monitors for the purpose of evolving a routine cycle of supply chain factory monitoring followed by engagement with factory owners concerning implementation of corrective action plans (CAP) and sustainable improvement. These efforts are then to be shared/reported on as part of the company’s response to UCLA’s annual licensee survey. KEY OBJECTIVES: MONITORING FOR MONITORING SAKE IS NOT THE OBJECTIVE. “CUTTING AND RUNNING” FROM A FACTORY IN THE WAKE OF POOR RESULTS ON A MONITORING REPORT IS NOT THE OBJECTIVE. A LICENSEE’S POSITIVE ENGAGEMENT WITH FACTORY MANAGEMENT TO IMPLEMENT SUSTAINABLE IMPROVEMENT IS THE GOAL.
  • Supply Chain Mapping: All licensees are expected to identify the factories and sources throughout their supply chain that are used to ultimately produce a “UCLA” licensed product. This includes not only those factories where the UCLA logo is applied but all up-stream and down-stream supplier factories as well. While some licensees have knowledge of their supply chains all the way back to the raw materials stage, others may struggle to properly identify even the Tier-1 factories (i.e. decorators and manufactures of blank goods). The UC Code applies to the entire supply chain and so “continuous improvement” towards fully mapping it is on-going. Licensees who have not fully identified Tier-1 factories in their supply chain are tasked with doing do as a condition of their license agreement renewal.