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Types of advocacy

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To ask for an advocate for yourself or someone else, click here.

We are experts in different forms of advocacy. We provide instructed and non-instructed advocacy, statutory and non-statutory advocacy. Our advocates work:

  • under the Mental Health Act (Independent Mental Health Advocates)
  • under the Mental Capacity Act (Independent Mental Capacity Advocates)
  • under the Care Act and Social Care Act
  • as Paid Relevant Person’s Representatives (PRPR)
  • in community settings (for children, older people, those with mental health conditions and learning disabilities)

If you would like us to provide advocacy for you – whether as a partner or commissioner; on someone’s behalf or for yourself – contact us on 020 3960 7920 or

Here’s more information about different types of advocacy.


Instructed advocacy

The individual tells the advocate what they would like them to say and do. The advocate’s role is to work with the person to bring together what they have to say in a way that puts their point of view across clearly. The advocate supports them in what they want to achieve.


Non-instructed advocacy

When someone doesn’t have the capacity to tell the advocate what they want them to do, the advocate uses other approaches to make sure the individual’s life choices aren’t compromised. It could be that because of a brain injury, mental health issue, substance misuse or temporary unconsciousness, someone isn’t able to make a decision for themselves. An advocate’s job is to make sure their best interests are represented. Our advocates use recognised ways to work with someone who isn’t able to communicate what they want. They’re trained to be aware that a person’s capacity might fluctuate, and continuously look out for opportunities to use instructed advocacy.


Statutory advocacy

Statutory advocacy means a person is legally entitled to an advocate because of their circumstances. This might be because they’re being treated under the Mental Health Act or because they lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions. It also covers certain people who are in the care of the NHS or local authority, including prisoners.


Non-statutory advocacy

These services continue to play an important role, providing advocacy where vulnerable people fall outside the eligibility criteria for statutory provision.



In self-advocacy, a person is able to assess a situation themselves, make choices about what they want and take steps to make it happen. They are able to communicate their views and preferences, and have these heard. We support people to develop the skills they need to self-advocate as much as possible.


Paid Relevant Person’s Representatives (PRPR)

A Paid Relevant Person’s Representative protects someone’s interests when they lack the mental capacity to make some decisions for themselves and they have been deprived of their liberty to prevent them from coming to harm. The local authority appoints a PRPR when no friends or family are available to support the individual.