When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, your computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you, for example, by:

  • enabling a service to recognise your device so you don’t have to give the same information several times during one task
  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don’t need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using our services, so they can be made easier to use and there is enough capacity to ensure they are fast

You may refuse to accept cookies by activating the setting on your browser which allows you to refuse the setting of cookies. However, if you select this setting you may be unable to access certain parts of our site. Unless you have adjusted your browser setting so that it will refuse cookies, our system will issue cookies when you visit our site.

For more information on controlling cookies see our cookie management page

Cookies for improving service

Google Analytics sets cookies to help us accurately estimate the number of visitors to the website and volumes of usage. This is to ensure that we provide a fast service that is available when you want it. You may wish to visit Google’s Privacy Center.