TPP Reviews

Updated 13 Jun 2021

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Found 200 of over 205 reviews

3.3
59%
Recommend to a Friend
60%
Approve of CEO
TPP CEO  Frank Hester
Frank Hester
136 Ratings
Pros
  • "There is a genuinely flat hierarchy, although more experienced people's opinions tend to be more respected than others(in 14 reviews)

  • "Few companies are willing to hire candidates for all roles with no prior experience and virtually none with such a high starting salary(in 12 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "The company preaches a 'flat hierarchy', but the reality is that it's run by the people who are most 'Phoenix' (yes, they really use that term)(in 19 reviews)

  • "of positive reviews in the last month(in 12 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
    1. 2.0
      Former Employee

      Get in and get out

      12 Jul 2020 - Software Developer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Few companies are willing to hire candidates for all roles with no prior experience and virtually none with such a high starting salary. This means that your CV and bank account can look pretty good within a few months of leaving uni. The vast majority of people working at TPP are very pleasant and intelligent. Many new hires move to Leeds to work at TPP, myself included, so it’s nice to be surrounded by like-minded people and it’s easy to make good friends. It feels good knowing that the work you’re doing everyday is having a positive impact on society. I can think of few sectors more objectively ethical than healthcare. There are other superficial perks, such as bimonthly massages, free pub Fridays and annual recreational trips abroad.

      Cons

      All of TPP’s problems can be traced back to its CEO, Frank Hester. The man is deeply insecure and wants nothing more than a band of kowtowing drones to feed his ego. It’s apparent that Frank has few people to associate with outside of work and longs to make friends with his employees, though the feeling is rarely mutual. Several employees have spoken of late-night phone calls from him, which never have anything to do with actual work, but rather whatever happens to be on Frank’s mind. This alone would be a sizeable invasion of privacy, but throw in the fact that Frank is often intoxicated and/or looking to dig up dirt on whichever employee he is currently suspecting of dissent and you're looking at a CEO with absolutely no concept of what’s appropriate. Not only does Frank often make racist or sexist “jokes”, but he revels in his Trumpian filter and expects you to laugh alongside him. Failure to comply can be seen as grounds for dismissal. Virtually none of the longstanding employees engage in non-mandatory company social events, presumably to avoid having to socialise with Frank and risk getting on his bad side, however unintentional it may be. TPP maintains that it has a flat hierarchy, which is half true. There are no managers, only employees and a handful of directors. More senior employees’ opinions will, perhaps naturally, be considered with more weight, but you can approach most anyone you need to at any time and they will generally listen to what you have to say. However, some of the more senior employees and directors have some sort of superiority complex and it shows. Their word is final and their reasoning on matters is usually little more than “this is the way we’ve always operated”. Such reluctance to change is frustrating at best and detrimental to the company at worst. It’s a common occurrence to see a director or senior employee openly berating another employee, which fosters an environment where disrespect is seen as par for the course. The directors themselves answer only to Frank, who himself mistreats them, thus completing the pyramid of abuse. Speaking up about any of this can be seen as a reason to sack you, which brings me to my next point. The turnover rate is absolutely abysmal. Since September 2017, there were probably around 100 new hires across all departments. At a push, maybe 15 remain at the time of writing. On top of this, the largest team, the coders, has plummeted from around 70 to 25 in three years. The reason for this egregious loss of life is, you guessed it, Frank. He boasts how he once attended a talk and appeared to be the only attendee to agree when the speaker suggested that any employee who is not right for the company should be terminated. Sadly, it seems that Frank has mistaken “the company” for “Frank” and will ruthlessly sack anybody who is even suspected of being against him in any way. You are fully expendable, and Frank will admit as much, often bragging that he only requires 14 employees to keep the business afloat. Perhaps for every three employees that are sacked, one leaves of their own volition, but of the twenty such people I’ve spoken to, none would recommend TPP as a nice place to work. Employees are often asked to write company reviews during work hours, including here on Glassdoor and for The Sunday Times Top 100 Small Companies to Work For award, which TPP are now banned from entering. While I can’t prove that several of these reviews are written by the same people, the similar rhetoric found time and time again would seem to suggest they are (perhaps there will be more verbose 5-star reviews dated after this review?). As for non-duplicate reviews, nobody will risk writing anything negative about the company at work for fear that a wandering director may spot it and end their employment on the spot. One of the perks listed here often is a good work-life balance. While it’s true that less than 40 hours a week is pretty reasonable for the salary that is offered, you are expected to be on call 24/7. This applies to some teams more than others, but suffice to say it’s hard not to think about work outside of work when it could phone you at any time. Given how many bugs make it into production code, late-night conference calls are not an uncommon occurrence. Coders get reimbursement for any hours they work outside of normal working hours, but the same can not be said for other teams, such as software support specialists or clinical systems analysts. The only reason I can think of for why this is the case is that most of the directors (Frank included) used to be coders themselves, so coders get special treatment. Many compare TPP to a cult, and for good reason. You are expected to pledge your unwavering allegiance to the company and to be a conduit through which the directors can enact their will. In your first week you will be taught more about the company’s idiosyncratic way of working than how to actually be a {insert job role here}. Not only that, but you are told to call others out when they make any sort of slip-up, creating a kind of autocratical informant culture. Certain types of mistake, such as writing bugs or failing to lock up, are rectified by publicly outing yourself to the rest of the company via email. Unsurprisingly, this does nothing to stop such mistakes happening again, but rather just makes people feel bad and causes unnecessary stress. Directors demand employees inform them immediately if they enter into a relationship with another employee. Their reason for making you do so is so they can make sure you don’t work on the same project to avoid distractions, but they expect this level of admission from any and all employees, regardless of how likely it is that their teams will ever work together. Employees have spoken about being interrogated regarding who they are friends with, because fraternising with ex-employees is a big no-no. I imagine the real reason for such an unsettling interest in employees’ personal lives is to have as much ammunition as possible against them once they unwittingly get on the directors’ bad side. Constant surveillance also bleeds into TPP’s way of working: you are encouraged to update your colleagues with what you are doing on a regular basis, as well as how long you think that task will take. While this may seem sensible on paper, in practice it means you’ll need a towel ready to wipe away all the moisture from your teammates breathing down your neck every ten minutes. Due to the very nature of estimation, you’ll essentially be setting your self several miniature deadlines a day and meeting very few of them. Therefore, you’ll go through many work days stressed and finish them feeling like you’ve failed. The atmosphere at TPP is very much that of a sheltered community. Many ex-employees are branded as “toxic” and are slandered in company meetings, with directors encouraging employees to bad-mouth people who were once their colleagues and whom they may still be in contact with. You are flat-out not allowed to socialise with those who used to work at TPP and being suspected of as much is enough to get you fired. If that doesn’t sound like a cult I don’t know what does. I suspect the primary reason that TPP predominantly hires graduates with no prior experience is because established industry professionals would instantly spot all the weird stuff that happens on a daily basis and leave soon after. This lack of context is further amplified by the fact that only a few computers in the office have access to the internet; apparently TPP employees know best when it comes to any questions you may have and searching the internet for answers is a last resort. Much of TPP’s reluctance to change stems from their deluded belief that they are the best company in the world. Frank recently claimed that the company was worth over £1 billion, which appears to be a gross overestimate if one takes a look at their public accounts. Company meetings are often filled with tirades about other organisations and how much worse than TPP they are. This same air of superiority extends to the way customers are treated, often being looked down upon as nuisances for whom only the bare minimum should be done. More evidence of TPP’s we-know-best attitude has surfaced during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. TPP has refused to follow government guidelines, requiring every single employee to come into the office every day, despite being in a sector that is perhaps best suited to working remotely. TPP has never invested in any infrastructure to support working from home and still has no interest in doing so, regardless of potential health risks to its employees. Frank loves to gloat about how much money the company makes, but is clearly not willing to use any of it to improve the lives of their employees past the odd event that looks good on social media. When questioned about their handling of COVID-19 by the Yorkshire Evening Post, TPP gave a limp excuse that staff have to work in the office, as the servers need to be extremely quick. Not only is this just untrue, as I’m sure would be evident to anyone who knows what a server is, but even if it was, surely it wouldn’t require every employee from every team to be in the office? To make matters worse, employees were not allowed to take their lunch break in the office during the pandemic, thus causing unnecessary foot traffic in the local area, potentially endangering its residents. Many of the above points compound on one another to create an environment of unspoken fear. Any day could be your last, as somebody is sacked up to once a week. To drive the point home, here is a list of outlandish reasons people have been sacked from TPP, in no particular order: - Complaining about how something is handled or suggesting that something could be improved - Not divulging aspects of their personal life - Being friends with ex-employees - Looking at Frank wrong - Being uncomfortable around Frank - Showing any sign of weakness during a stressful event - Being suspected of any of the above without any actual evidence For the sake of transparency, I don’t know TPP’s reasons for sacking everyone that they have, but the vast majority that I have spoken to fall under the above categories. Others have been sacked for the reason that they didn’t own up to mistakes or were defensive when questioned about something. While this may be TPP’s most valid reason for dismissal, it usually happens with those who have been employed for less than a year. The oppressive atmosphere does nothing to help such people feel comfortable and firing somebody after one mistake rather than taking action to help them improve is cold and cutthroat. The rest of the cons will cover the more technical aspects of working at TPP as a coder. You will be taught the basics of writing code and several good coding practices, but that's about it. Even the things they do teach you are drip-fed to you as and when you need to know them, so it’s really luck of the draw as to what you’ll pick up in your time at TPP. You will never be given time to just sit and read up on a concept. Apparently teaching you on such a need-to-know basis saves time, but ironically it likely ends up harming more than it helps in the long run, as you’ll constantly be badgering other employees to explain things to you. The codebase itself is ancient and it shows, with many arcane methods that nobody fully understands. This problem will never go away as time is never set aside to give the code the cleaning/refactoring it so desperately needs. Developers are referred to as coders, because you will learn nothing of the actual software development process. Industry standard practices such as automated testing, modern language features, build pipelines, containers, or modern version control are nowhere to be seen. In fact, the very mention of them is enough to get you sacked, as that would amount to suggesting that Frank isn't the utmost authority when it comes to software development. I had to spend about a month studying various aspects of software development to make experience mean anything elsewhere. Ultimately, TPP teaches you how to work at TPP, which unsurprisingly is not a skill that other companies are looking for. I’d recommend staying for around 6 months to get the basics of how to write code professionally and then using that experience to find employment somewhere better. The job security being what it is, staying any longer means risking being unemployed with a severely stunted skill set for the time that you’ve been working.

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      250 people found this review helpful
    2. 1.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Horrible - Please reconsider working here

      13 Jun 2021 - Software Engineer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      There are no pros to working here

      Cons

      Where to start?? As a current employee, I can sadly confirm that the negative reviews are valid. The CEO is a walking disaster, where possible avoid him at all costs - he is prone to mood swings and if you catch him at the wrong time you are likely doomed. His management team are equally as incompetent, especially the MD. To the outside world, we like to pretend that TPP are a good company to work for, you see this in our literature/promotion materials etc, but the reality is that this company is rotten on the inside, staff are fearful and the working environment is horrible. The positive reviews are either coerced or written by staff members new to the organisation who have not had much interaction with the CEO or directors. My advice to those looking to join is to avoid. You may be enticed by the higher than average salary - but I can safely say that this is just a golden handcuff. The reality is that you will not be happy and will watch your peers develop and prosper whilst you stagnate.

      4 people found this review helpful
    3. 5.0
      Current Employee

      I like it here!

      28 Apr 2021 - Software Developer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      I really like my job. I really like the people I work with. The really strong negative reviews on here are a million miles away from my experience. I’ve learned so much at this company, both technically and in terms of personal development. We do work hard and it can feel pressured but we don’t work long hours (or very rarely) and it is a supportive environment. The work itself is (almost always) really interesting and (almost always) you feel like the code you write is really going to do some good. That’s the main good stuff - there’s other stuff like you make friends easily as (out of covid) there’s loads of social stuff, unreal holiday allowance and pay rises, the sailing or skiing trip is amazing. Leeds is ace. Close to the Dales.

      Cons

      Intellectually it’s hard - the coders are super bright so you need to be on your A game. Also can be stressful - end up thinking about work outside of work.

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      4 people found this review helpful
    4. 1.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Avoid. Worst job I have ever had.

      20 Mar 2021 - Helpdesk Operative in Leeds, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Good salary Some really compelling benefits

      Cons

      Awful work environment and high stress Bullying.

      Continue reading
      27 people found this review helpful
    5. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      Great Place To Work

      20 May 2021 - Analyst in Leeds, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      TPP is a great company to work for. That's the short summary. The slightly longer explanation follows: The atmosphere in the office has never been better. I've worked at TPP for a while now and I can honestly say I've never felt happier at the company. There's a genuinely supportive workforce, with colleagues who care about each other and the job that they're doing. Getting along with the people you work with really makes the difference. Work during the pandemic has been difficult at times (as has been the case for lots of people at a whole load of different companies). For us, the main challenge was that we've all been determined to work longer and harder to do our bit to support the COVID-19 response. This has meant more stress than normal, more deadlines, shorter deadlines, and a seemingly endless queue of requests for help and support. We've felt - possibly more than ever - the real responsibility resting on our shoulders to get solutions out of the door to help people in their time of need. However, the results of this have been really rewarding. It's a great feeling to know your day-to-day work is having a positive impact, and helping so many people - health and care workers and patients alike. The company has software that is embedded in thousands of healthcare organisations as a long-standing, reliable and trusted system, yet it remains cutting edge and the innovation emerging from the company is increasing all the time. It's an exciting time! Working at TPP, you feel proud of what you're doing and of your contribution to what the company is achieving. Of course, there are lots of other good things too. The salary is great. TPP try to employ the best candidates and have high standards. This could maybe seem a bit daunting if you're applying for a job, but it's reassuring to know that a key part of the country's health infrastructure is in really safe hands. Because of this, the salary is high. They want to attract and retain the best people. Other perks have been written about by numerous others - £200 to spend on a birthday meal with your family and friends, free breakfast sandwiches on Fridays, free fruit (a healthy treat to balance out the bacon butties!), brilliant team building trips, frequent social activities (even if most of these had to be moved online during lockdown), and lots, lots more!

      Cons

      The work can be hard and the workload has increased lately - but that doesn't outweigh all of the positives!

      5 people found this review helpful
    6. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      If you want a challenging and rewarding career this is for you.

      20 Apr 2021 - Business Analyst in Leeds, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      You have the chance to get involved in a lot of exciting projects and you are supported not only by your team, but the whole team. A lot of people say no day is the ever the same, but I can confirm this is true as there is always new things to be learning and projects to be getting involved in. If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed, stressed or worried about work or anything personal there is always someone to talk to. For me this has been a great help throughout my career.

      Cons

      There is a lot of work to be done, the answer is to recruit more which is something I know we are currently doing.

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      6 people found this review helpful
    7. 1.0
      Former Employee

      PLEASE READ THIS AND TAKE HEED

      3 Jun 2021 - Deployment Specialist 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Excellent Salary and Company Trips Some decent human beings including the Clinical Director JP

      Cons

      Where do I even dare to begin? The company is run on Dictatorial/Questionable Leadership. The Management I would say is akin to a 2nd world war dictatorship FH (CEO) is a ruthless individual and nobody should stand in his way. He is prone to losing his temper and sacking individuals on the spot for saying the wrong thing. He surrounds himself in yes men (and women) who just agree with him to keep on the right side of him. His behavior is questionable and anybody that gets on the wrong side of him is just made to disappear into the mist. CK (MD) is the 2nd in command. She is for all intents and purposes the head of the Internal Investigations in TPP. Her daily job is to find information on individuals within TPP and then build allegations against them. You can see her scurrying around the building, taking people into rooms, asking them to write false allegations against people so that she can build a case to send them on their way. You will find that there are lots of middle men/women in the teams reporting back to CK and they are all as bad as each other. Sniping and trying to protect their positions. FH doesn't lower himself to this level of underhand tactics, but he is ably assisted by CK in this matter. To say that she is ruthless is an understatement, However, she too knows that if she says one wrong thing then she too could become surplus to requirements, so just does things that FH wants her to. Staff are told they have a say when actually they have no say on the future of the company. There are lots of meetings called where the ever decreasing numbers of staff are called to sit on the floor, in front of FH, like small children, and then asked their opinions on the future of the company. If you have an opinion that doesn't fit, hold your tongue as your ideas may lead to your demise. You may think that the staff numbers at TPP are small. They have been getting smaller year on year. The office was built with a view to housing 600 staff but the numbers have dwindled from well over 200 when I joined to less than 150 when I left. This leads to staff being overworked with ever increasing workloads and over demanding bosses. If you do fancy it, getting into the company and past probation is like seeking nirvana. The interview process is led by lower level staff but the ultimate decision is made by FH and CK as to whether you get the job. The process is ageist (don't bother if you're over 30) and generally you need great grades but it'll be your personality that gets you through the door. Staff have recently been asked to sign an addendum to their contracts for working weekends and evenings/nights when the Leadership sees fit. This is to fit in with Crazy video conferences to China and Asia to all and sundry. This never leads to a sale but staff are scared to question this as it would be severely frowned upon. I hope you found this review useful and it will save you a lot of anxiety, constant looking over your shoulder and unhappiness. If you are as ruthless as the leadership you will thrive at this company, but really you need to have no empathy, integrity or care for anybody else. As a result of this negative review the management will get an employee to make a positive comment to keep the review ratings misrepresented on glass door. Staff will be too afraid to say no! In a nutshell I wouldn't touch them with a bargepole.

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      10 people found this review helpful
    8. 1.0
      Former Employee

      Toxic

      5 May 2021 - Clinical Systems Analyst in Leeds, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - Decent money with no experience required - Some nice people to work with

      Cons

      Anyone reading this considering applying for TPP: please, please, please trust the other reviews about how bad this place is. The reviewers are not exaggerating - it really is an awful, toxic work environment. The upper management are genuinely unhinged and regularly go out of their way to bully, upset, control and intimidate staff. Long-standing staff have taken on their personality traits and can be equally as bad. Any conversation, with any member of staff, with in work or in the pub, can be turned and used when they're "building a case" against you. The atmosphere was intolerable, with it affecting the mental health of many staff, and I'm glad I got out when I did. Although the money may seem attractive, this place is not worth your hard work, making these people even richer.

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      14 people found this review helpful
    9. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 5 years

      Frank-enstein's Monster.

      5 May 2021 - Software Developer in Leeds, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The starting salary is high and pay rises are also good, most people will be earning £60k within a few years. No experience required, it's a way to get into software development as a maths/science graduate. You may get to work on some worthwhile projects. You get to write Glassdoor reviews during work hours. Just make sure to stick to the approved cons list: it's stressful being so important, you're so dedicated you think about work at home and sometimes you have to talk to lesser mortals at other organisations.

      Cons

      There's so many crazy things about working at TPP that it's hard to know what to put in a review. Some of them only become apparent when you start working somewhere new. TPP is like a weird enclosed cult segregated from the rest of the tech community. The technology is outdated and working here too long will leave your skills and experience stunted. You'll be thrown in the deep end initially, and it'll feel like you're learning fast, but you won't get the chance to learn anything outside of what you're directly working on. Some companies will help you to develop your skills, and will proactively offer training courses and opportunities to learn new things. TPP will not. It takes quite a lot of work to fill in the gaps before starting at a new workplace. You'll be expected in the office during a pandemic, including for the interview. The working hours are completely inflexible. You may be expected to work all evening and weekend for a deadline, but if you want to leave ten minutes early the next week then you've got no chance. The micro-management is intense. You'll be expected to justify every 5 minutes of your day. If you miss an out of hours phone call, you may be questioned about why and warned not to let it happen again lest your loyalty to the company be doubted. There is an atmosphere of fear, aggression and blame. You'll be encouraged to perpetuate it by pointing out your colleagues mistakes publicly and will always be expected to find out who's fault any bug was. Many of the cons are really all symptomatic of the fact that you're just not trusted to do your job. You may have to leave unexpectedly, whether you're pushed out or just can't stand it anymore. The turnover rate is abysmal. From the information publicly available on companies house, staff numbers have reduced from 250 to 140 in the last few years, despite purchasing a much bigger office suitable for 600 staff and having aims to increase staff numbers. Frank frequently openly makes comments many would consider racist and misogynistic. If you want or need to keep your job you'll have to act like it's totally fine and all just a funny joke. The uncomfortable silences will feel very familiar very soon.

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      22 people found this review helpful
    10. 1.0
      Former Employee

      A truly nasty place to work

      30 Apr 2021 - Clinical Systems Analyst in Leeds, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great pay (that's about it)

      Cons

      * Extremely toxic culture * Outdated creaking technology * Shocking bugs commonplace with quite concerning clinical/data governance implications * Non existent modern software development methodologies/approaches employed * Sadistic management * Very unhappy customers * Bare minimum of effort/investment into their key UK market * Little meaningful innovation * Poor work life balance afforded * Arcane rules for staff (don't touch the glass and many other classics)! * Zero flexibility afforded to anyone other than the directors * Staff forced to move within a very small radius of the Horsforth office (unless you are a clinical trainer on the road regularly or a director to which the rules seemingly don't apply) * No home working provision permitted * Ridiculous levels of staff attrition * Expected to travel for significant periods of time at zero notice (pre covid) * Expected to work in the office full time post covid contray to government advice (old colleagues have informed me) * Extremely insular in their outlook (most roles are not permitted to be active on LinkedIn and they would never consider anyone else being able to teach them anything) * Staff forced to write positive Glassdoor reviews by management * Banned from the Times top 100 companies to work for for the above reasons * You will learn very few transferable skills for your future career * Micro management commonplace * Inappropriate language/attitude rife by senior staff * Cult like obedience to the company demanded * Actively encouraged to report on your colleagues behind their backs * Unfortunately they get away with it as they are very profitable and usually pay people off when they get into any bother (happens quite a bit)

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      14 people found this review helpful
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