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Investment Management System


Housing providers participating in the National Affordable Housing Programme for 2008-11 can bid for funding through the Investment Management System (IMS).

Full details on connecting to the system are provided in the IMS Connectivity Guide - PDF (566KB).

Latest news

Release of New Help to Buy Scheme Module

The Help to Buy Scheme redevelopment have focused on the Schemes and Payment modules.    There have been some changes to the allocations module to reduce the processing burden but they remain with the old screen deign.  The Bids module is unaffected and users will continue to create bids in the same way.   

This update covers the processing of all, both already approved, started and new schemes, covering:

  1. Create Scheme
  2. Processing of the Grant Confirmation and Allocation Matching
  3. Automatic Submission scheduling
  4. Variations management
  5. Processing of payments
  6. Revised approval

The processing of the scheme remains much the same following the process, i.e. the inputting and submission of data by the Provider and the approval by the appropriate Funder.

The key differences are:

  1. The design of the system has been updated to provide a fresher and more modern look and feel, in line with the HCAs corporate palette.
  2. The data captured has been reviewed by a group of users to ensure the titles reflect the data that should be entered, and that only data that is used for analysis is required.  This includes a revision to the way in which the title of the scheme is listed to separate Site Name and Plot Number and the removal of the duplicate postcode check (which is now a certification).
  3. The creation of a summary screen to provide a quick view of the scheme and its progression.
  4. The scheme tasks have been broken down into smaller number of fields to allow user to complete and save more easily, and to allow data entry to be completed over shorted sittings on IMS if required.
  5. The breakdown of the tasks has also enabled us to remove the need to trash back.  Instead individual tasks will become invalid should the data vary between screens.
  6. Payment processing falls within the ‘Schemes’ screens so there is no need to navigate to a separate part of the system.
  7. Improved access to the scheme through Workflow.  By using workflow you can directly access the screen that requires updating.
  8. There will be no need for allocations to be submission scheduled.  Instead on the approval of a scheme the submission schedule line will be created automatically from the bulk, therefore removing the need to go through this lengthy process.  The ability to change grant and units on the bulk line when an allocation requires more units or grant (to accommodate new developers) is still possible.
  9.  System guidance will be available from within the application. 

Specifically for Help to Buy Agents

  • There is no longer need to ‘jump’ into the Developing organisation to process a scheme.  Instead they will be able to select the name of the appropriate partner from within the Create Scheme screen.
  • Agents will be able to view the Help to Buy Agents can also select the HtB product on the scheme list to view all schemes in which the act as the Lead role.
  • Simplified approach to adding new Developers, by adding the developer to the partnership makes the developers available in the developer list at create scheme stage and the system also allows the developer to be changed right up to scheme approval without needing to trash back.
  • Agents will be able to view the complete scheme record.

Providers who have been involved with the project said:

“Many thanks for the opportunity to test the system.  We’ve found this really useful, and the new part of the system is a definite improvement..”

“All in all the process was much better and the new layout/design was brilliant” 

“We love the look of the new screens, the navigation is so much easier.  Great that we can amend without trashing back.”

Delay to Help to Buy Release

During the Help to Buy creation and testing a bug was found, although we have found a solution we are still testing the issue to ensure that we are not likely to encounter it again.

Whilst these investigations are taking place the previous version of Help to Buy will be available to you.

Please note the following adjustment in relation to this:

At claim stage you will need to Submission Schedule manually, this will include the fee. You should only Submission Schedule out a line if a scheme is ready to be processed.  You are not expected to build forecasts within the Allocations system.

When the new version of Help to Buy is installed any Submission Scheduling that has not been linked will be rolled back and deleted.

It is anticipated to have the new version of Help to Buy released as soon as possible and further communications will be sent/provided to update you of when this will be.

Thank you for your co-operation at this time.

2015-18 Guidance

The Redesign Programme

The redesign of the IMS screens used for processing for Help to Buy schemes is to be delivered to users on 8th April, when IMS comes back into service after the Year End closure.

This project is part of a continuing programme of works with the aim of modernising the system to improve the user experience and make processing more efficient. This redesign work is alongside the on-going activities which continue to support the current system and develop it for use to support funded programmes.

The principles that underpin the redesign programme aim to maximise the benefits, both to the user and to the future maitainablity of the system, have been adhered to.  These include:

  1. Adopt an approach to development which allows us to actively work with the end users of the system, particually those who use the area under development, so the end product is better suited  to their needs.
  2. A refresh of the IMS user interface to improve the consistency, provide simplification and improve usability, including functions such as spell check, better on screen error handling and clearer help messages.
  3. Resolution of key inadequacies with existing IMS including poor navigation, hard to find functions, lack of clear processes and inconsistency of operation.
  4. Design the system so it is is easy to support and develop the current and new porgrammes.

These principles will continue to be followed as we continue to redesign the rest of the system. 

The next area that will be subject to these revisions will be the other incentive scheme types, which include Right to Acquire.  This will be followed by the Development scheme types, including Affordable Rent and Affordable Home Ownership.

User support

Any problems encountered when using the system should be logged with the HCA service desk on 01908 353604. The service desk is available from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. The second-line IMS user support is available from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays.

Please note that you will be automatically logged out from the IMS after 15 minutes of inactivity.

For general enquiries, advice and guidance on using the IMS please contact the investment officer at your HCA area office or read our IMS help page.


In order to access IMS, your organisation must first register to use the system. You can request a registration pack by calling 01908 353604.

If your organisation is already registered then please contact your security administrator to set you up on IMS. If you need to change your security administrator then please call 01908 353604 or alternatively you can download and complete the form below

This form is for Registered Providers of social housing (including former Registered Social Landlords) and Unregistered Bodies to add or update existing Security Administrators (NB – this does not include local authorities), local authorities who have been approved to bid for NAHP who wish add or update existing Security Administrators, and local authorities who want to have read only access.

NB: appropriate checks will be made to identify invalid applications.

How does the system work?

The system is based on Citrix with a secure portal providing access. In order to connect to the system you will need to install the Citrix client on your computer, which can be downloaded and installed from the portal homepage.

This simple process will enable you to run HCA Online within minutes, as long as your computer complies with the system's prerequisites. Depending on your IT infrastructure and policies, you may need to ask your IT department to install the Citrix client and allow access. Full details on connecting to the system are provided in the IMS Connectivity Guide - PDF (566KB).

Read the terms of use

IMS has been thoroughly tested for use with the IE9 web browser. If you experience problems using an earlier version of Internet Explorer, we recommend that you upgrade to IE9. We are currently testing the application with later versions of Internet Explorer. Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari may also work with this application, but, given the frequency of updates to these browsers, we have limited scope for testing the application with new versions as they become available. The application has not been tested for use on mobile devices.

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