Western Institutional Review Board Reviews | Glassdoor

Western Institutional Review Board Reviews

Updated February 22, 2017
27 reviews

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2.5
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Patsy Whited
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27 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Operations Specialist I"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations Specialist in Puyallup, WA
    Current Employee - Operations Specialist in Puyallup, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Western Institutional Review Board full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The company is excellent. I have no complaints. I cannot understand the 25 or so reviews I just read that are so very negative. I am beginning to wonder if the impressions and negativity in those reviews are based on bad attitudes, disillusionment, and crybaby attitudes. Let me say that after working for several major corporations, including one of the top law firms in the United States who services some very high political offices, as well as several worldwide engineering firms, I have a professional perspective. If a person would look at the full business model and benefits package, they could see this is one of the best places to work in Pierce County. Perhaps those who whine and wheedle about their job at Western IRB were disillusioned, thinking this would be an easier job. This job takes critical, analytical thinking. If you are not on the ball, you will be sending out consent forms and other critical medical/health documents that are not accurate, thereby potentially placing a client/patient in a situation where there could be grave outcomes due to not following proper procedures processing those documents. This job takes a year or more to gain all the perspectives of a certain job function; there are various groups within the structure of what we do that require very close scrutiny on all products handled. This is a for-profit internal review board; however, regardless of profit, the first concern of this company is the highest regard for human research subjects. Everything we do points toward the human research subject's safety. The rest of the equation is the compassionate use of a medication or device which may save a person's life. There are many times patients have exhausted all resources and gone through clinical trials; the compassionate use of a drug or device can--and has--saved lives. Not all respond effectively, but this is one of the beautiful gifts of our company to be able to help others. So for those who whine about our company--our company, who matches our 401K; who pays for our health insurance; and acts as fairly and equitably as I can see, provides flexibility and the ability to work from home on occassions, I think they need to grow a pair and get over themselves.

    Cons

    I haven't found any cons.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up, you are wonderful!

    Western Institutional Review Board Response

    Feb 24, 2017

    We truly appreciate your feedback. That being said, we understand this position is not the right fit for everyone and try to emphasis that during the hiring process. We too believe the majority of ... More


  2. "IRB Operations Specialist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - IRB Operations Specialist in Puyallup, WA
    Former Employee - IRB Operations Specialist in Puyallup, WA

    I worked at Western Institutional Review Board full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Benefits, flexible hours, nice building, advancement opportunities, telecommute opportunities, learn medical research review process, great for detail oriented people

    Cons

    Stress, pressure, increased quotas, can be terminated with out warning, many policy and procedure changes

    Advice to Management

    Improve consistency between verbal and written policies and procedures. More appreciation to all employees.

    Western Institutional Review Board Response

    Feb 24, 2017

    We appreciate your review and I have elevated your feedback. We continuously review our employee appreciation program and are looking for more opportunities to show our gratitude.


  3. "High stress environment with constantly changing demands and poor transparency"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IRB Operations Specialist in Puyallup, WA
    Current Employee - IRB Operations Specialist in Puyallup, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Western Institutional Review Board full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    has a huge positive impact on human research & protecting human subjects. Lots of great people work there.

    Very challenging work & if you like an environment that is fast paced and want to learn some pretty amazing stuff about medical research, this is an interesting job experience.

    Cons

    Ever increasing demands and metrics that are vague and imprecise; distinct disconnect between overall upper management and staff; unexpected workforce reductions.

    Not a lot of upward movement available as levels are based on meeting the upper eschelons of the already tough production requirements, & minimal middle management positions.

    Benefits package is not competitive compared to many similarly sized organizations and can be complicated to deal with.

    Advice to Management

    More transparency regarding decisions that aren't just rumors spread by staff. Make sure info going out is consistent and clear for everyone.

    Western Institutional Review Board Response

    Feb 24, 2017

    Thank you for your feedback. I have sent this to the leadership team.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "DON'T"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Puyallup, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Puyallup, WA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    For a temp agency, they pay ummmmmm ok. Overtime available and encouraged. Temps can NOT be required but have the opportunity. The Pro to a temp working OT, they will be paid for the OT, salary employs do not.

    Cons

    The management is ineffective. The lines of communication have two meanings, yes you can, but really you can't. No set schedule which can be good but a reason to terminate a person based on being tardy. How can you say one is tardy when a schedule was never discussed, just get your 8 hours in. If you are not a permanent employee, don't expect to take ANY time off with out making up your missed hours even though it was approved. The expectations and lack of training set a person up for failure. There is no opportunity to become a permanent unless you "know" someone. It is another "Corporate" company that business is always first no matter what

    Advice to Management

    My advice to management is DON'T get sick, your head may be on the chopping block too.

    Western Institutional Review Board Response

    Feb 24, 2017

    Thank you for your feedback. Based on your notes above, it appears you came to us via a temp service and we don’t control the agency’s pay rates. It’s true, not every department has set hours; we ... More


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Beware"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Puyallup, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Puyallup, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Western Institutional Review Board full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    100% paid healthcare plan. They used to provide decent sick/PTO accrual (15 hours per month), but that was before the company was purchased by WCG (Arsenal Capital).

    Cons

    There are so many things wrong with this company.... poor management, low pay, unrealistic expectations, ever changing expectations, horrible work life balance, favoritism, no mobility.

    You'll notice a few fake reviews done by HR on Glassdoor. Don't be fooled!

    Advice to Management

    Realize that providing a work life balance is essential to keeping your employees happy. Listen to your employees, new and old.

    Western Institutional Review Board Response

    Feb 24, 2017

    We appreciate your more than 8 years of dedication to the company and your review. I have ensured leadership has received a copy of your feedback. As for the benefits, most of the people we hire ... More


  7. Helpful (7)

    "The Worst Company I've Ever Worked For"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Operations Analyst in Puyallup, WA
    Current Employee - Business Operations Analyst in Puyallup, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Western Institutional Review Board full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The staff is great! I've met lots of wonderful people that have an outstanding work ethic and are generous, knowledgeable, and just overall good people. There is a lot of overly priced food available on site. Highly flexible - telecommuting, making up time, altered shifts. Decent 401k match offer. Good PTO benefits. Possible that improvements can be made if people are permitted to analyze and think about the processes and not made to stay in their lane and not make connections and assist other departments within the company. Convenient location.

    Cons

    This is by far the absolute worst company I have ever worked for. People who have been there 10+ years don't seem thrilled to be there, but because there aren't many options to go to they stick it out. Inconsistency in processes (SOPs constantly changing and trainers don't always agree). Antiquated programming (Remember Windows 95? That's about where it's at). Excessive and inconsistent overtime requirements - there is no rhyme of reason to when or how much OT is mandatory or "highly encouraged". Lack of transparency in practices. Poor work/life balance. Horribly turnover rate. Upper management is disconnected with the staff. Training takes longer than timelines suggest and in turn affects pay. Management can be overly critical. Favoritism and gossiping.

    Advice to Management

    Find a solution to the problem instead of shoving the problem on staff and working them so much that they make mistakes, cut corners, and don't want to help out and put in "extra effort". Be honest with prospective employees about what the job truly entails and training timelines. Don't send the message of "if you don't like it, you should leave." Appreciate that your employees chose to be there because of the mission of the company or because they care about a piece of the puzzle. Don't criticize them for being mad that they are understaffed and can't maintain company-wide goals because there is too much work. Set realistic expectations based on work loads. Let the people who are trying to make it better do so - after proper testing has been put in place. Provide consistent customer service from all departments - externally and internally. Most companies don't like having to pay OT. Maybe instead of trying to pass something off as exempt to get people to have to put in a lot of hours for free or making it hourly and having to go back to paying OT, hire enough people, train them well, and value your employees that are there instead of treating them like work horses and cracking the whip.

    Western Institutional Review Board Response

    Feb 24, 2017

    Thank you for your feedback. The company recognizes that process improvement is an ongoing effort. Over the past couple of years the organization has created a new Process Improvement Team ... More


  8. Helpful (6)

    "Never good enough"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Operations Analyst in Puyallup, WA
    Current Employee - Business Operations Analyst in Puyallup, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Western Institutional Review Board full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Medical benefits (currently through Aetna) fully paid for by company for the employee

    Dental and vision benefits low cost for employee, affordable to add dependents

    Flexible schedule depending on department

    Some positions able to telecommute occasionally depending on circumstances

    Great coworkers

    Concept of protecting human subjects makes the job meaningful

    Cons

    Abusive employees are not disciplined ("that's just how so and so is"). They made an announcement in the last couple years that they take bullying seriously, but they redefine what bullying is when it's convenient for them (such as when management is bullying people, or their friends are doing it).

    HR is more or less in Corporate's pocket. Concerns expressed about treatment of employees or out of touch attitudes are rebuffed with assurances of how well the head of HR knows so and so and how they couldn't possibly be seen in a negative light.. Concerns about the legality and fairness of treatment of employees are ignored. The laws are interpreted in ways that are beneficial to the company at the detriment of the employees with no explanation. They have been dishonest during recruiting of recent hires, resulting in negative attitudes.

    You are encouraged to share your thoughts, as long as they aren't negative. Management's doors are always open, except they're physically always closed. Or you can't be honest about your concerns for fear of being added to someone's "list".

    Staff are expected to do more work than is statistically possible with a near 0% error rate.

    We have been told management had to fight tooth and nail to get bonuses for staff for hard work in the prior fiscal year. But we're also told how financially profitable our work has been.

    We are told there is no money for additional incentives, then are told about extravagant galas thrown by the parent company. Photos of people drinking and dirty dancing in celebration are shared with staff who are told we aren't working hard enough or fast enough and we need to work overtime every week.... It seems that it is in order to pay for these galas. (in other words upper management is totally out of touch with operations staffs)

    You are told when you are doing poorly but rarely given any sort of recognition for doing well. When any sort of awards or recognition is given, it is to people who are popular for more or less doing their jobs. While those who go above and beyond are usually left on the wayside except for the ocassional email patting them on the back.

    Advice to Management

    Stop telling staff about the ways the parent company is spending money on other people while simultaneously telling them they can't enjoy a share of the profits they are making the company. Consider the possible impact of showing off how much money is spent on parties most of us have no chance of ever attending when you're also telling us there is no budget for incentives. It makes it sound like the money that could go to boosting morale and showing appreciation to us is spent on branded ice sculptures upper management can drink booze from then flaunt it at us.

    Stop your HR department's misleading hiring tactics.

    Western Institutional Review Board Response

    Feb 24, 2017

    I’m not aware of the abuse you mentioned, but as a general rule any conversations HR has with employees and/or managers regarding these types of issues would be done behind closed doors and any ... More


  9. Helpful (5)

    "This company is a joke"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Operations Analyst in Puyallup, WA
    Former Employee - Business Operations Analyst in Puyallup, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Western Institutional Review Board full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nothing at all, only pros is I made some friends that I hope find something worth their time then staying at a job that treats its employees like they are running a slave ship.

    Cons

    This company is a joke, HR (all the positive reviews) plays favoritism, there is no room for growth, HR are awesome salesmen, pay is well below what you should get for basically editing legal documents, there is no work life balance, some managers don't care if you have a family the company expects you to be on call 24/7 and you have to pick up the phone. Work every weekend, they burn ppl out and some managers are verbally abusive. RUN NOT WORTH YOUR TIME OR LIFE

    Advice to Management

    Learn to treat employees like humans, fairly and stop being abusive and running the company like a slave ship!!!


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Never been happier!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations Intake Coordinator in Puyallup, WA
    Current Employee - Operations Intake Coordinator in Puyallup, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Western Institutional Review Board full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Wonderful co-workers, great team of leaders! Business is growing, nowhere to go but up! This will be my final employer, and I couldn't be happier with where I will be finishing my career! This company KNOWS how to take care of its employees! The best part is knowing that the work you do will make a difference, it makes everyday fulfilling!

    Cons

    If you are not used to a desk job, this will be a big change for you, but what job doesn't have it's pros and cons!

    Western Institutional Review Board Response

    Feb 24, 2017

    You’re feedback is appreciated and we are glad you’re with us


  11. "I finally found my "Forever Job!!""

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations Coordinator in Puyallup, WA
    Current Employee - Operations Coordinator in Puyallup, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Western Institutional Review Board full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I love this company and the people I work alongside who have become my friends. If you are looking for a place where your work (even the most basic job function) matters in the lives of others, where you get out of the experience what you put into it, where you are given EVERY opportunity to excel and grow if you are forward thinking enough to step forward and ask, then this is the company for you! They offer amazing benefits and perks (like telecommuting when possible and flexible schedules for some positions). I have been with the company for a year and already am experiencing growth into another position where I can maximize my abilities to contribute to the company...and in turn help clients help the folks who are relying on them to improve their lives. What we do at WIRB directly affects the lives of others and the future of healthcare. I am proud to be a part of it!

    Cons

    Yes, there is overtime....but in my experience it isn't excessive (3-5 hours some weeks, but flexible to your own schedule - most don't put in more than that and not every week) and in most cases overtime can be accomplished from the comfort of your own home (they assign each employee their own laptop and even try to accommodate to the best of their ability each employee's needs to set up a comfortable workspace at home). There is a lot of work, but that is the sign of a healthy, growing company and they are working on staffing to cover the increased workload. There are busy seasons and slower seasons. Those that have complained about overtime in an exempt position have not told the whole story about the other side of the coin where they are allowed a flexible, light schedule in the slower season. Pay raises are based on performance, but shouldn't they be? It's all about attitude. Yes, there is an emphasis on reducing errors, but in this business errors can potentially be dangerous or life threatening to research subjects who rely on our clients to help them with what, in some cases, could be their best hope for recovery.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing! I appreciate you!

    Western Institutional Review Board Response

    Feb 24, 2017

    You’re feedback and insight is appreciated.


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