When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the web, it sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your computer, smartphone or tablet. These include cookies. They can't be used to identify you personally.

They are used to improve our services for you by:

  • Allowing them to recognise your device, so you only give us the information once
  • Recognising usernames and password you've already given to us
  • Measuring how many people use them, so we can make them better

You can find out more about these small files on the GOV.UK website.

Cookies for improving service

Our website uses cookies to collect non-personal user information. It doesn't collect any information about you that it doesn't need to.

Cookies are pieces of data created when you visit a site, and contain a unique, anonymous number. They are stored in the cookie directory of your hard drive, and don't expire at the end of your session. They don't contain any personal information about you and can't be used to identify an individual user. If you choose not to accept the cookie, it won't affect your access to the majority of the services available on our website.

Your browser may be set to allow the creation of cookies automatically. However you can tell it to prompt you before a site puts a cookie on your hard disk, so you can choose to allow or refuse each one. Or you tell your computer not to accept any cookies

Cookies on our website from other companies and social networking sites

During your visit you may notice some cookies that aren't related to our website. This happens when you visit pages with content embedded from a third party, for example YouTube videos, links to social networking sites, etc. These websites may place cookies on your computer.

We don't control how third parties use their cookies. If you have concerns about how they use them, you should check their websites’ privacy policies.