Agenda Resource Management logo

Contract Client FAQ

Click a question to reveal the answer.

Q. Aren’t contract staff an expensive option compared to permanent staff?

A. Contract Staff are usually a temporary solution for our clients who are short staffed or very busy for short periods of time. By using contract staff you can add an experienced technician to the team almost immediately who would need very little training and who can perform the day to day duties needed to alleviate any pressures in the department without the costly and time consuming aspect of advertising for, and recruiting permanent staff.

Q. Why do you say that having a contract person is often more cost effective than employing our own staff?

A. You may only be needing a member of staff for a short period of time for a specific project or a high workload or to cover sickness or holiday. Recruiting  your own staff, particularly temporary staff can be time consuming and costly in terms of advertising, candidate and CV selection/review, interviewing and screening. 

It can also take some time and resources to provide the basic training and development for a new member of staff, a person who may not become familiar with the processes useful until near the end of their temporary contract. The contract staff option removes these complications. Our head office contract coordinator team are ex animal technicians themselves which means they have an in depth knowledge of the industry and will find you the right member of staff to suit your needs in a timely efficient manner.

Q. Agenda are more expensive because we have to pay accommodation and travel over and above the hourly cost, we would prefer to have an all-inclusive fixed cost so that we know exactly what we are paying each week.

A. Agenda are happy to provide all inclusive rates although many of our clients prefer the separate costing model as it allows them to see the breakdown of their outgoings. Where possible Agenda will provide local staff to reduce potential accommodation and travel costs but also by having technicians available nationally it means that our short notice availability is excellent as we do not rely solely on “local” technicians to meet your urgent needs.

Q. How many contract technicians do Agenda have and can you supply someone at short notice?

A. Agenda has the largest pool of contract technicians available; the numbers vary because each year our clients take our contract staff on permanently. However we average between 30 - 40 technicians out and working every month.

Q. You say you do pre-employment screening, what does this include?

A. All of our staff are comprehensively security screened against 22 different checks, this is the most stringent in the research sector. We also check that they  have not had nor currently have any detectable affiliations with animal rights groups and we confirm their previous employment and references, their right to work in the UK too.  Our comprehensive check vastly exceeds the amount of checks required by the British Standards Authority, Government Baseline (in which Agenda is named) and the recommended industry requirements.  For your additional security all Agenda staff have also signed confidentiality, welfare contracts and social media code of conduct agreements.

Q. We are concerned about Lab Animal Allergy (LAA) what support do you give your staff?

A. Agenda retains the services of an experienced Occupational Health professional and all job applicants are subject to a pre-employment health screening and issued with a fit for work certificate before they go out on placement. Agenda’s occupational health nurse carries out this screening and monitors the health of our technicians throughout their career with Agenda. Reviews are carried out bi-annually as well as weekly contact from the head office contracts team and an established “Got a Concern?” process for staff to report any general health and/or well-being issues. LAA guidance is provided to all staff and health and safety is featured in the regular Welfare First newsletters and the Tech Talk web resources for our staff.

Q. How do Agenda train their staff?

A. Agenda staff all have a minimum animal qualification in Animal Care such as an NVQ or BTEC or at least have substantial and proven experience in an animal care field. Agenda compile a personalised profile for every technician so the clients are fully aware of each candidate's skills. Agenda supports Continual Professional Developmental and through its Investors in People certification an annual training back account is provided.  This is used to further develop staff skills and qualifications and recognition provided is in the Agenda hall of fame which forms part of the Welfare First programme.  Additionally, Agenda is unique in providing a manager level trainer to ensure that the requirements of the EU Directive in terms of staff competency are met.

Q. Some agencies only pay staff when they are working on a contract what happens at Agenda?

A. The majority of Agenda contract staff are fully employed and receive their salary and other benefits whether they are on a work placement or not. But, there are two different contracts which Agenda staff may choose from, temporary or permanent. Agenda technicians on permanent contracts are employed on a full time basis by Agenda which gives our staff the reassurance that if in the very rare circumstance there isn't a placement available they are still paid. Alternatively temporary contracts allow the technician the freedom to be specific about the length of contract they wish to commit to, this provides them with the flexibility to take extended periods of leave to go travelling for example but they are not paid for the periods they do not work.

Q. Is there a career path for Agenda techs and how long do your techs stay with you?

A. We have technicians who began with us as juniors and have now gained and are using their Home Office Licence, are employed as senior technicians and in some cases even as facility managers. As previously mentioned the training bank account is available for technician’s personal advancement and progression. Every year our clients take on our technicians as permanent employees, contract technicians have the advantage of experiencing many types of organisation, species and research giving them an insight into where they might like to settle down if they decide that being a contract technician is no longer for them. It is an advantage for clients too as they will know whether a person is going to fit in or not by having them in a contract role first. Several technicians have left us to pursue other interests but have then  returned to us.  Agenda works with each individual technician to develop their career and several of our technicians have been with us for more than 10 years.