IMCA resources

IMCAs are instructed as a legal safeguard for people who lack the capacity to make specific decisions. These include decisions about serious medical treatment and long term accommodation.

Leaflets and Information Sheets

IMCA guide for health and social care professionals (leaflet)

Mental Capacity Act (MCA)

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)

Referral guidance for professionals

Guidance on ‘who is appropriate to consult’

Referral and Involvement Flowchart – for Social Work professionals

Referral and Involvement Flowchart – for Medical professionals

Mental Capacity Act Guidance

Mental Capacity Act 2005 – Code of Practice
Making decisions: a guide for advice workers

This is an overview of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) for people who give advice as part of their job.

Making decisions: a guide for people who work in health and social care
Making decisions: a guide to the Independent Mental Capacity Advocate service

This guidance explains:

  • what advocacy is
  • the role of an IMCA
  • how the IMCA service works in practice
  • who will benefit from the IMCA service
  • how to make a referral to the IMCA service

Making decisions about your health, welfare or finances. Who decides when you can’t?

How the Mental Capacity Act 2005 affects you if ever you lose mental capacity.

IMCA Annual Report – 2013-2014 


  1. Introduction and Overview
  2. About the MCA
  3. What is mental capacity?
  4. Five principles of the MCA
  5. Decision-making
  6. Assessing capacity
  7. Record keeping
  8. Best interests principle
  9. Deprivation of Liberty
  10. Care planning
  11. Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA)

Deprivation of Liberty Guidance


SCIE – SCIEs IMCA guides cover everything you need to know about IMCAs

What do IMCAs do?
Who should get an IMCA?
IMCAs and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

It includes information for…

SCIE – MCA and IMCA videos

Role of the IMCA

The film shows the role of the IMCA – which includes communicating with the person who lacks capacity, consulting others and writing a report. It also shows how important the care worker’s knowledge of Mr Robinson, an elderly person with dementia, is for the best interests decision


Commissioning and monitoring of IMCA services

This good practice guide contains information on issues to consider when reviewing IMCA contracts, a revised example service specification, suggestions for assessing quality, an example engagement protocol and suggested tender requirements.

IMCA involvement in accommodation decisions and care reviews

This guide aims to support the work of local authority and NHS staff who may need to instruct and work with IMCAs in relation to accommodation decisions and care reviews.

IMCA involvement in safeguarding adults

This good practice guide is primarily aimed at professionals who have responsibilities in relation to safeguarding adults and may be involved in safeguarding adults proceedings. It includes information on who can be represented by IMCA, who and when an IMCA can be instructed, sharing and accessing information and resources.

IMCA and paid relevant person’s representative roles

This practice guidance describes the role of Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCAs) and paid representatives in the Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (MCA DOLS).