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BioReliance Reviews

Updated 13 September 2017
83 reviews

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3.1
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Archie Cullen
24 Ratings

83 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work life balance, good diversity (in 5 reviews)

  • Good benefits, flexible schedule (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • lack of communication is it worst (in 3 reviews)

  • High turnover of experienced people ( (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "BioReliance Highlights and Lowlights"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glasgow, Scotland
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glasgow, Scotland

    Pros

    Lots of scope for continual learning and personal development.
    Management welcome feedback and do act to address issues / negative feelings.
    Positive behaviour and hard work are regularly rewarded.
    Workforce continually growing.

    Cons

    Workload can be overwhelming at times.
    Lots of overtime required (though additional hour are paid).
    Although workforce growing, sometimes recruiting can be a lengthy process.

    Advice to Management

    React more quickly to increasing workloads by bringing in new heads sooner rather than once difficult to manage workloads cause unnecessary stress.
    Provide timely, honest and informative responses to employee questionnaires.


  2. "Needs better management on all levels"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at BioReliance full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Colleagues help each other out. Possible to gain valuable experience in the industry.

    Cons

    Some managers do not have any leadership qualities and do not know how to motivate their employees.

    A lot of over time. Not enough competent new people hired to cope with increasing workload.

    Advice to Management

    Have a long hard look at the middle management level and how the quality there affects performance and happiness of staff.


  3. Helpful (8)

    "Don't waste your time - Take 1 year of experience and move on."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Scientist II in Glasgow, Scotland
    Former Employee - Associate Scientist II in Glasgow, Scotland
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at BioReliance full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    BioReliance are very useful for gaining GMP experience. Their systems are woefully outdated but it's still something worth having on your CV.

    Secondly, they have been acquired by Merck. So things have the potential to improve, but unless you here from other reviewers (after June 2017) that there has been an overhaul of middle managers, don't get your hopes up.

    Cons

    I worked for BioReliance for approx. 2.5 years, I started my career as an Associate Scientist and left the company as an Associate Scientist II.
    Over the 2.5 year span I participated in several of cross-functional teams in all three sites of BioReliance, this gave me the opportunity to work closely with many of the Operations directors, managers and team members, so before I delve into the problems at BioReliance, I’d like to clarify that this review refers ONLY to the Glasgow site. From my experience, the Pentlands and Stirling sites were well managed and appeared much more positive than the Glasgow site.
    I’ve broken the issues down to several areas which I believe need addressed at BioReliance Glasgow.

    SALARY – Simply put the salaries at BioReliance are not competitive and the increases are not good. I left the company for a similar role in another company for a 45% salary increase.

    CULTURE – BioReliance Glasgow operates with a blame culture, as with any company (particularly one with such a high turnover), mistakes happen. However, at BioReliance the first priority is to blame the most junior member of staff and often to publicly shame this person.

    HOLIDAYS – The situation surrounding holidays for lab staff in BioReliance is absurd. I have had holiday requests declined months in advance because “we might be busy”. Several of my colleagues were declined holidays because team members in completely different functional groups also had a holiday booked that day. Supervisors and management take holidays at any given time, but lab staff are expected to work overtime and have their own holidays dictated by the convenience of the company.

    TRAINING – There are no training plans at BioReliance. You are trained very quickly in one assay (because the previous person has left) and you are expected to perform that assay every day for years. Until, that is, you threaten to leave. At which point they will train you in a second assay…this pattern continues.
    You are not trained for your personal development, you are not trained due to interest.

    PROGRESSION – The issue with the progression at BioReliance is not that is does not exist, but the extreme lengths needed to gain promotion. Managers continually impress that you are “close to promotion” or “being considered” but this is not the case.
    After 18 months at the company I had worked to ensure that I ‘ticked off’ every aspect of the senior associate scientist job description. Despite this, I was not given the promotion and tld I “just missed”, I was encouraged to work harder.
    After 2 years at the company I was the most highly qualified, most accomplished and most trained member of lab staff within my team. I was declined the promotion a final time, given the reason that I was not emotionally mature enough.
    My experience is not uncommon, many of my ex-colleagues have left for the same reason. Lab staff are pitted against each other to compete for promotions which do not exist, it creates an incredibly negative environment and drives a wedge of hostility among teams.

    WORKLOAD – Workload is poorly managed, with some members of staff doing 4 times the work of others. Skipping lunch and working late is commonplace. Stress related absence is rife throughout the lower tiers of staff.
    SUPERVISORS – Put simply (most) supervisors are unsuited for their positions. In some cases supervisors are less qualified or accomplished that the scientists they supervise, but have progressed to that position through years spent at the company (which includes years spent on maternity leave). In my experience, supervisors were indecisive, undiplomatic and lazy. During my time at BioReliance I worked alongside one very good supervisor, but he has since left the company.

    MANAGEMENT – There is huge variety within the management at BioReliance. The UK site head (at the time I left) was very capable, with very good aims for the company. However, all attempts to change from this negative spiral in the Glasgow site die at the middle management level.
    Initiatives are in place. Huge amounts of resource are invested into improving things, but these are all blocked at the middle management level, particularly in the Molecular Biology, Virology and Microbiology departments.

    Advice to Management

    Ask the right questions. Why are initiatives working in Stirling and Pentlands, but not in Glasgow?

    BioReliance has the size and financial power to dominate the biosafety testing marketplace. You should not be investing in training to have your lab staff pinched for the sake of £2000-3000 extra a year. Paying more would mean staff stick around, which would solve the workload and eventually the culture.


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  5. Helpful (5)

    "Get experience, get out."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Scientist II in Glasgow, Scotland
    Former Employee - Associate Scientist II in Glasgow, Scotland
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at BioReliance full-time

    Pros

    People in the lab are friendly.

    You can get working experience in the biotech industry.

    Cons

    Workload- Initially you will wait to be trained in something worthwhile for a minimum of 6 weeks. Immediately following limited, irregular and poorly organised training, you will be expected to take on a full workload in the lab. This is in addition to lab housekeeping, project work and using or updating outdated and barely usable protocols/documents.New starts become demotivated, in some cases waiting more than 3 months to be trained in what they were employed to do in the first place. Blame culture in the company is rife leaving everyone to adopt a "look out for number one" attitude.

    Senior management try to employ schemes and plans that could make a difference. However, this is never monitored at ground level to see if it is being employed successfully. The message gets lost or more likely ignored at middle management who continuously push deadlines for tasks on to their department. This then becomes your job- continuously trying to complete massive tasks or projects in a very limited time frame with little to no help to achieve your goals.

    Career Development- Not much to say here, in my time at the company I was never shown anything to do with career progression despite senior management saying it was a"key area". The exception to this rule would be the customary "you've been here a year" promotion and salary increase to something you probably expected to get when you joined. After this promotion, look forward to supervisors giving you their whims and errands as they can't be bothered to actually go down to the labs and engage situations directly.

    Pay- "equipment under £10k is peanuts" yet a fair salary must be akin to a diamond as these are rare and extremely hard to come by.

    Management- My department was ran by a somewhat autocratic manager with a limited grasp on both where the labs are physically located in the building as well as what actually goes on there. Supervisors are either never in work to begin with or too indecisive to do anything.

    Decisions which affect the lab are regularly made by people who do not have an idea of processes there or how it will affect the people that work there daily. For them, this ticks a box on a spreadsheet thus "mission accomplished".

    Facilities/labs- The labs are somewhat like a scrapyard, full of old obsolete equipment, while new equipment sits gathering dust for at least a year before it is actually able to be used. Any usable space is highly coveted and difficult to find. A corporate technique was employed to organise the labs so they could "shine". This brings to mind a certain phrase- you can't polish a turd.

    The company has recently been acquired by Merck which apart from a few nice coloured signs- making the place look like a cheap legoland- hasn't really amounted to much in terms of actually working there.

    Advice to Management

    Understand processes.

    Increase pay significantly.

    Streamline labs.

    Reduce corporate jargon.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Blame culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Scientist - Molecular Biology in Glasgow, Scotland
    Former Employee - Associate Scientist - Molecular Biology in Glasgow, Scotland
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at BioReliance full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very few. They have a pretty good Xmas party but apart from that it's not an enjoyable place to work.

    Cons

    Blame culture - higher ups pass all responsibility on to lower members of staff.

    Abysmal pay - well below industry rates

    Workload - far too high for some while other twiddle their thumbs

    Advice to Management

    Sack the managers who don't visibly change their attitude from this negative culture


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Avoid virology"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Scientist I in Glasgow, Scotland
    Former Employee - Associate Scientist I in Glasgow, Scotland
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at BioReliance (More than a year)

    Pros

    A lot of experience gained quickly

    Cons

    Ridiculous workload, overtime expectations too high, dysfunctional team who seek to blame new employees for mistakes, bad communication which results in unnecessary mistakes, cliquey atmosphere, supervisor bullies new employees into staying late to complete work of other people, you will be expected to stay after your designated finish time - you will not be asked. Many issues occuring which are blamed on single people as opposed to acknowledging this issue could have been caused by multiple people. Asked to stop and start experiments at unreasonable times. One rule for 'gold star' employees another for the rest.

    Advice to Management

    Review training systems and trainers, review housekeeping sheets and ensure the burden of incubator cleans is shared equally, investigate all events beyond simply paperwork, examine system in cell culture, and take into account personal circumstances when necessary.


  8. Helpful (2)

    "BioReliance, a place to grow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Quality Assurance in Glasgow, Scotland
    Current Employee - Quality Assurance in Glasgow, Scotland
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at BioReliance full-time

    Pros

    People, those that work at BioReliance, are a committed talented group of individuals.

    WHen working for BioReliance you know that you are contributing to the health and well-being of the world. It would be good to hear more from our clients on the products we test.

    The work environment is very dynamic currently, and there is scope to develop if working for the correct manager.

    Cons

    Some leadership can be lacking, firefighting has become the norm.

    Space is of a premium and expansion is desperately required, There is space in Stirling not being used which is embarrassing.

    The usual secret pay structure.

    Advice to Management

    Look at the talent currently on-site, make proper efforts to hold on to it. Driving people into the ground is not development.

    Use the ground floor in Stirling, it's not making money if it's not rented out.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Good company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Scientist in Glasgow, Scotland
    Current Employee - Scientist in Glasgow, Scotland
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at BioReliance full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Supportive and competent management.
    Interesting projects/studies.
    Nice colleagues.
    Important projects that make difference for industry and society. You help to acceletate development and manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals.
    Good labs.
    Lots to learn about the industry and development biopharmaceuticals.
    Potential to grow and develop career.
    Work stability.

    Cons

    Management of workload and projects
    Limited office and meeting space

    Advice to Management

    Management of workloads and projects needs to be better.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Enjoyable place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Writer in Glasgow, Scotland
    Current Employee - Technical Writer in Glasgow, Scotland
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at BioReliance full-time

    Pros

    Since joining Merck, the company is constantly looking to engage with employees; using feedback to make the work life better.
    Big on career development.
    Regular fun / social (non-work) activities provided by company to enjoy.

    Cons

    Some of the offices look a little dated, although the new Merck brand is very vibrant and it is only a matter of time before this comes through

    Advice to Management

    Continue to engage with employees on a regular basis to ensure voices are heard.


  11. "Pleasant Surprise!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glasgow, Scotland
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glasgow, Scotland
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at BioReliance full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    *Work life balance
    *Supportive senior management team
    *Benefits
    *Office culture
    *Future prospects

    Cons

    *Somewhat resistant to change
    *Buildings and office are looking very tiried


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