Work with us

Client FAQ

Can I invite you to pitch?

We try to avoid the time and expense of pitching, but we have plenty of other ways to prove our calibre and capability against your project brief. Talk to us and we’ll find an approach that works.

What size projects do you work on?

Hire us to deliver a small project quickly and expertly or commit us to a larger one. There’s no minimum or maximum size – we’ll assign high calibre expertise and healthcare experience from our team at whatever scale you need.

Do you work on retainer or on annual programmes?

We love long term relationships and we’re happy to provide a team to work on programmes and delivery over a sustained period. Talk to us about what you need.

How quickly can you assign someone to my business?

Usually, once you’ve briefed us, we can have someone working on your business in the same week, sometimes even the same day. We’re renowned for our ability to mobilise fast. Our virtual model is responsive, agile and adaptable: our experienced people are brilliant at hitting the ground running.

You don't have a physical office or workspace. How do teams collaborate and work efficiently and securely?

Remote working is backed into our virtual model. We built our Collective from day one on the principle that everyone would be based in their own workspace or on a client site.

As virtual working experts, we’ve invested in robust IT infrastructure for secure online communication and document storage.

Our consultants access secure collaboration tools and centralised resources (including Basecamp, Zoom and Google Drive) so they can work effectively wherever they’re based. We share client information and work securely, with controlled access to project collateral.

Virtual working is built into our efficient, agile model – it makes us more productive, more responsive and better value. It allows us to bring together amazing multi-skilled teams to match precise client needs, with no physical constraints.

Of course, if we need to gather in person for a meeting or workshop, we just hire and equip a space wherever it’s needed.

What happens when deadlines suddenly tighten or the project scope increases?

A terrific advantage of The Difference Collective is our ability to scale up and mobilise at short notice. We’re fast, agile and adaptable, with an exceptional network of talented members with flexible availability. We can add more or new resources any time they’re needed. Through us, you have a wealth of experience, specialist knowledge and support at your fingertips – you can tap into it at any time.

What are your working hours? Can I have a 24/7 team?

If that’s what you need, the chances are we can make it happen, drawing on our diverse membership – we have consultants in different time zones and people who choose a range of different workstyles and hours.

Our model is designed so you pay for what you need when you need it. we’ll agree working hours and availability with you upfront and make sure we have people who are willing and able to meet the requirement before we sign up for the project.

Are you willing to go through our procurement process to join our preferred supplier list?

If you need to put us on a preferred supplier list, we’ll gladly work with your procurement team. It’s a good idea to go through this process ASAP, so you can get us working on a project at short notice any time the need arises.
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What about account management?

We designate a Project Lead to be your key contact, if two or more Difference consultants are working on a project. We don’t have account managers and directors. Our Project Leads provide co-ordination and accountability without the time-consuming procedural baggage that comes with a traditional agency account set-up. They’ll project manage as needed, making sure everyone meets the brief, hits deadlines and communicates and collaborates effectively.

How do you decide who works on my business and do I have a say?

We’ll personally select and recommend healthcare communications consultants with the exact skills and experience you need for your project. You’ll have the final say on the people we put forward to work with you, to make sure you agree they’re exactly right for the job.


We share consultants’ credentials and experience, to show you the calibre and track record of the people you’ll be working with.

How do you maintain high standards of work and manage quality control across the collective?

We only accept senior, talented and recommended healthcare communications talent into our collective. We invest heavily in our admissions process, interviewing applicants personally and following up industry references. We only take on people with contract or freelance
experience – they’re already experts at working independently and proactively.
When we assemble a team for your project, you’ll  get to review the credentials and experience of the people we put forward: you’ll see for yourself their calibre and track record. Usually, there’s a choice of available consultants – clients tell us their main problem is deciding between so many highly qualified and experienced people!


We’ll designate one of the team members as your Project Lead. The Project Lead provides co-ordination, quality control and
accountability without the time-consuming and costly burden of a traditional account management set-up. It works because all
our members are time-served high performers with bags of experience managing successful teams and projects.

How do you ensure confidentiality?

The Difference Collective was purpose-built for virtual working, so you can rely on us for robust IT infrastructure, collaboration tools and remote working processes and best practice to keep your data and content safe.

We use trusted online communication, data sharing and document storage systems. We have detailed policies for data protection and social media use. All Difference consultants sign a non-disclosure agreement when they join.

We manage information is managed on a ‘need to know’ basis, granting access to those directly involved in project delivery or support. At the end of a project, we review and archive materials and data access.

How do you guard against conflicts of interest?

All our consultants sign a non-disclosure agreement when they join. It stipulates that they must disclose any conflict of interest
before and during active work on a Difference Collective client project.

All our consultants are free to work for other clients and agencies: as senior professionals, they understand the importance of full disclosure because their reputations and livelihoods depend on it.

What IT security measures do you use?

Our policies mandate that all devices use the latest software updates and have appropriate antivirus protection in place. Consultants use https connections and virtual private networks over public wi-fi. We provide ongoing training, information and expert support to keep our members up to speed with the latest secure IT developments and best practices.

What are your payment terms?

Our payment terms and conditions are simple and straightforward. Payment is due 30 calendar days from the date of the invoice. This is set out in the schedule within our Project Confirmation Form. You must approve and sign this before work commences.

Invoice schedules are based on the overall timeline of the project and by key project milestones. We issue invoices at the start of the month when the activity takes place.

For projects with a value under £5,000 and delivered within 30 days, we bill you for 100% upfront. Out of pocket costs over £2,500 will be invoiced immediately, by agreement.