IMCA and paid relevant person's representative roles in the Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Who can take the IMCA roles?

In England local authorities are responsible for commissioning IMCA services: in Wales it is local health boards. The commissioners can set the training and qualification requirements for IMCAs. The Department of Health supported the development of national qualifications in independent advocacy. This is provided through City & Guilds. In addition to the IMCA module of the qualification (Unit 305) there is a specific unit on the DOLS IMCA roles (Unit 310).

It is good practice for IMCAs who undertake the DOLS roles to have met the following criteria:

See SCIE Guide 31: Good practice guidance for the commissioning and monitoring of Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) services.

Advocates must present case work in order to complete units of the City & Guilds advocacy qualification, so it is not possible for IMCAs to complete Unit 310 before undertaking DOLS cases. The good practice commissioning guidance suggests that those IMCAs who have not completed assessments should be supervised by IMCAs who have.