What is the investment management standard?


The investment management standard (IMS) is a process for applying simple, common-sense ideas and practices that help organisations to direct their resources and achieve the best outcomes from their investments.

It is grounded on three principles:

  • The best way to pool knowledge is through an informed discussion that brings together those people with the most knowledge of a subject;
  • The ‘investment story’ is best depicted on a single page using language and concepts that can be understood by a lay person; and
  • Each investment should have clearly defined benefits that align with the outcomes the organisation is seeking.

What is the IMS ‘Line of Enquiry’?:

The IMS involves a series of up to four facilitated workshops which step participants through a ‘line of enquiry’ (Figure 1) and helps decision-makers determine whether:

  • there is a real, evidence-based problem that needs to be addressed, now and by this government;
  • the benefits which will be delivered through successfully addressing the problem are of high value to the organisation and the community;
  • the benefits’ KPIs are meaningful, measurable and attributable to the investment and are worth tracking and reporting;
  • the way the problem will be addressed is strategic, feasible, and innovative;
  • the solution is likely to be delivered within time and budget constraints; and
  • the solution can be applied flexibly to manage uncertainty and adapt to changing conditions and demand.

IMS line of enquiry.jpg

The 2017 IMS update:

DTF updated the IMS in May 2017.

Investment Management Standard Departmental User Guide.docx (DOCX 1.58mb)

Information about this refresh, and a description of major changes from previous practice, are contained in Investment Management Standard 2017 update - Frequently Asked Questions.docx (DOCX 53kb)

Victorian Government practitioners are required to use the IMS 2017 edition.

The Investment Management Standard Edition 5 (2013) is still available for users. 

IMS Workshops and Examples:

The workshops follow a defined process to develop a series of outputs that tell an ‘investment story’. A description of each workshop, as well as templates and examples of its outputs, is contained here.

Support for Departmental Users

Support for departmental users, including a departmental reference guide and tips for assessing your needs and booking a facilitator is found here

Support for Investment Management Facilitators

Support for facilitators, including how to become accredited, training, facilitator reference guides, templates and quality assessment forms, is found here

Applications of the IMS:

When first developed the IMS was used to help shape individual investments. Today, its uses have broadened to support the primary investment decision-making functions of an organisation.

License to use the Investment Management Standard materials

If you want to use the Investment Management Standard materials, you must adhere to these intellectual property guidelines