Practice guidance on the involvement of Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCAs) in safeguarding adults

The IMCA's contact with alleged perpetrators

It is very unlikely that the IMCA will need to meet, or talk on the phone to the alleged perpetrator (when this is not their client). If an IMCA believes they have justification for seeking contact, it is recommended that this is agreed in advance by both their line manager and the safeguarding manager. Any contact should be carefully risk assessed and recorded.

If the alleged perpetrator makes contact with the IMCA (outside of any agreements made with the safeguarding manager which are supported by their manager) the IMCA should avoid any discussion and end the contact.

The views of the alleged perpetrator will at times be critical to informing decisions regarding the person at risk. A common example is where the safeguarding adult alert is concerned with a relative's ability to provide the person at risk with adequate support and care. The IMCA will need to ensure that their views are represented. Where there is no likelihood of a criminal prosecution, it may be appropriate for the IMCA to arrange to meet them.


An IMCA is instructed at the safeguarding planning stage to represent and support Donald after it is established that he has physically assaulted another person who attended his day centre for people with learning disabilities. A protective measure being considered is excluding Donald permanently from the day centre. The IMCA gets confirmation from the safeguarding manager that it is appropriate to meet with Donald. The IMCAshares the risk assessment they have undertaken for meeting Donald with their line manager prior to arranging contact. This specifies not meeting him alone but with a support worker in Donald's home.

Good practice points

IMCAs should get explicit agreement from their line manager and the safeguarding manager if they are seeking to have contact with an alleged perpetrator who is not their client.