We’re proud to have more than 40 freelancers (we call them Associates) working with us. Our Associates have strengths in different areas, so training each of them is one of way of ensuring that we offer consistency. To that end, we needed to come up with a way to make sure that all of them have access to the same training and information.

That’s where our WriterGirl Academy comes in.

Through the WriterGirl Academy, Associates take interactive courses on topics ranging from best practices for interviewing subject matter experts to how to write compelling patient stories; from writing for mobile to following plain language standards. All of this training is supplemented with one-on-one mentoring.

Rebecca Sims, our senior manager for learning and development, heads up the Academy.

“We developed the WriterGirl Academy to support our Associates with things they need to know to do their best work for WriterGirl,” Sims says. “And we supplement our core curriculum with advanced courses to encourage Associates to be life-long learners in their craft.”

Each year, WriterGirl requires Associates to re-certify in the core curriculum, which is updated annually to reflect current best practices and industry trends.

Training to be a WriterGirl starts only after a prospective writer is thoroughly vetted. Once we accept a writer, we have a number of procedures in place to ensure he or she is set up for success.

“We want each writer to understand our expectations, and at the same time, know that they have a support system,” Sims says.

Bottom line: We train our Associates like we would train a full-time employee.

“We really invest in our talent,” Sims says. “We make sure the quality checks and balances are there. We make sure everybody knows what our standards are. We want our Associates to learn and grow with us.”

Investing in our team pays off. It’s no surprise that many of our Associates have worked with us for many years — several of them from the beginning. That’s because we build long-term relationships with our Associates, just as we do with our clients. If you liked working with a particular writer last year, chances are good he or she will still be here this year — and in the years to come.