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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Noting the record: IDMS notes - best practice

When noting a record on IDMS it is very important that you bear in mind who may read your note - this includes both fellow colleagues and customers. For this reason it’s important that the note is clear, concise and uses only approved HMRC abbreviations.

Some offices in DM, specifically DMTC, have automatically generated notes through their system, but when ever you have the ability to add a free format note you should always follow the best practice guidelines below.

Best practice for IDMS notes

General hints and tips

  • Make your note clear; covering everything you need to in the body of the text. If you need to go on to a 2nd note it is fine to do this, just ensure you write, ‘cont…’ at the end of the first note and ‘cont…’at the start of the 2nd note and any subsequent notes, this way it is clear to the reader that they need to read all these notes together.
  • Use only approved and easily recognised departmental abbreviations, for all abbreviations, see HMRC abbreviations list.
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  • For notes following Time to Pay arrangements, see DMBM803560.
  • Re-read your note before posting - is it understandable? Could it be understood by someone not in Debt Management? If the answer is no, make it clearer.
  • (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) Communications website(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
  • Never use ‘text talk’ in your notes. This is a growing trend in modern society and is not appropriate for our HMRC system notes - you are not texting someone and ‘text talk’ is not understandable by every one nor is it professional.
  • Bear in mind your notes can be read by our customers - always ensure you report the facts only and never put your own opinion about the customer on to the records. If you have taken a difficult call, it is worth taking a moment before writing your note.
  • Don’t use capitals unless it’s appropriate to do so - for an abbreviation for example. If you use capitals in the body of your note this can be mistaken for aggressiveness or shouting.
  • Think about the most appropriate and correct drop down notes. Often the pathway of your note tells a lot about the type of call you took and the action you want to happen. (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
  • Think about things that frustrate you when reading other peoples notes - try and avoid these pitfalls when writing your note.
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Notes and Assets - permanent noting facility in IDMS

Use the Notes and Assets page on IDMS to record the date of and information of anything that you feel is important to the overall profile of the customer; for example:

  • Any assets that you know of
  • Any history that may affect a FF call or prevent a FF call; for example, the customer’s availability
  • If the customer has been abusive or violent
  • If you receive a letter of authority or take verbal consent for a one off call
  • An important change of circumstances
  • Details of any TTP arrangement where there is no IDMS open work item to note or the IA function cannot be used. Also, record the date the TTP was agreed. See DMBM803560 for full TTP noting guidance.

Quality managers should check the quality of the notes during their assurance and discuss any notes where they feel the information is unclear.

Further information

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For specific details about noting a record after a phone call, see DMBM510980.

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