Is Validation the Place to Be?

Right now, as I’m trying to do my own business development for the season, what I’m getting is lots of people asking if I know anyone to do validation work. But all the validation people seem too swamped to take anything new on. Is validation actually the place to be?

I have to wonder if it waxes and wanes a bit but, every year, the validation and the compliance people seem swamped. Once in a while they seem to have some dry spells but it doesn’t seem to happy very often.

So, for those of you doing this type of work who don’t like your jobs or just want something different, it’s probably not as scary a time to look as you might hear from other areas. In addition, for people who are interested in breaking into this area, this might be a good time to try. And we all know that wanting to get your foot in the door isn’t that easy, in a lot of cases, but let’s just say it’s less difficult when people are more desperate for the extra resources.

As for GeoMetrick Enterprises, I work to supply customers with as much of the process as possible, but definitely leaving out providing services for Validation or Training. But, as I always remind people, not providing those services doesn’t mean I don’t get involved with them. On many big projects that require validation, everyone gets pulled-in to write OQ (Operational Qualification) scripts or be a team lead or to help the training people learn the system and get screenshots. To be clear, I do what I can to be a willing participant, because we all know it’s required when we sign-up for these projects. However, it’s still a long way from driving that part of the effort.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises
http://www.GeoMetrick.com/

4 thoughts on “Is Validation the Place to Be?

  1. As the paper of LIMS is growing up into the corporations, there are many tasks that now requires specific and qualified players. Business Analysis is another example of ….
    LIMS has stronger paper in the market in terms of covering and managing more activities in the labs through it and I’m glad to see this evolution …. even seeing many other acronyms appearing during this decade and some of them having the intention to become “the LIMS replacement” … but the reality is what it is and they are far from it.

  2. Main reason (IMHO): It does not pay unless you are your own company. Most of the validation opportunities I see are from “validation” companies that charge big bucks but barely offer the actual validation specialist pay equivalent to cost of living regardless of location. Most don’t even reimburse for living expenses or even provide per Diem comparable to the Federal government. The validation specialists do all the work but get very little benefit.

    When a major company is recruiting contract workers to do validation work, pay is mostly based on an all inclusive rate where they usually do not cover living expenses and the rates barely cover cost of living or meals. If you don’t have the ability to financially support yourself initially, it’s a hard sell.
    Case in point: couple years ago, I helped a friend of mine be recruited by a major biotech company to perform validation work and on his spare time to be the system admin for a LIMS and an Empower system. He was paid a rate per hour a lot less than his actual living expenses, no remainder to even to even travel back home once a month or to cover the 15% Social Security Tax that he would have to pay due to being independent. Outcome: when the apartment rental lease was up for renewal, he left everything behind and moved on to something else in the other coast.
    I also have been approached several times to perform validation or “remediation” work for companies with compliance issues but the rates and lack of cost of living expense and travel reimbursement do not make it worth the discomfort and instability.

  3. I’m not certain that consulting, in general, doesn’t have the same issue, where many companies are paying consultants very little. I get a LOT of calls about projects where the rates are pretty low. Plus, a great number of consulting companies now call about “remote” opportunities only to find out they mean that you only travel 50% rather than 100% (I’m not exaggerating on this!).

    You either have to have your own company, which I will tell you is quite a challenge in these competitive times -or- you have to have to look around carefully for a company that is looking for quality work and willing to pay quality rates for it. They’re out there but it’s not that easy to figure out who is who until you have some deep conversations with them.

  4. The LIMS validation space is such a specialized space, that the skill-sets are very specific. Unfortunately, it is not a full-time job, and hence the “consulting” companies IMHO are exploiting the knowledge workers- that is what is reflected in the rates offered to the validation consultants.

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