IMCA resource - what do IMCAs do?

IMCAs are a safeguard for people who lack capacity to make some important decisions. See Who should get an IMCA? to find out which decisions require IMCAs to make some important decisions. See Who should get an IMCA? to find out which decisions require an IMCA.

The IMCA role is to support and represent the person in the decision-making process. Essentially they make sure that the Mental Capacity Act 2005 is being followed.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (Independent Mental Capacity Advocates) (General) Regulations 2006 set out the IMCA’s role and functions. These are grouped below into four areas.

1. Gathering information

2. Evaluating information

3. Making representations

IMCAs should raise any issues and concerns with the decision maker. This could be done verbally or in writing. IMCAs are required to produce a report for the person who instructed them. In most cases this should be provided to the decision maker before the decision is made.

People who instruct IMCAs must pay attention to any issues raised by the IMCA in making their decision.

4. Challenging decisions

In many cases IMCAs will be able to resolve any concerns they have with the decision maker before the decision is made. Where this has not been possible IMCAs may formally challenge the decision-making process. They can use local complaint procedures or try to get the matter looked at by the Court of Protection.