Privacy and cookies

Privacy

Any information you provide when using this service will be handled according to the Education and Skills Funding Agency personal information charter.

Cookies

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) puts small files (known as ‘cookies’) onto your computer to collect information about how you browse our sites.

Cookies are used to:

  • measure how you use our websites so they can be updated and improved based on your needs
  • remember the notifications you’ve seen so that we don’t show them to you again

We may also store an encrypted copy of each cookie on your computer - these start with BNES_. These are used by our firewall and provide an extra level of security.

ESFA cookies aren’t used to identify you personally.

You’ll normally see a message on the site before we store a cookie on your computer. Find out more about how to manage cookies.

Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics software to collect information about how you use ESFA sites. We do this to help make sure our sites are meeting the needs of their users and to help us make improvements.

Google Analytics stores information about:

  • how you got to our sites
  • the pages you visit on ESFA sites
  • how long you spend on each ESFA page
  • what you click on while you’re visiting our sites

We don’t collect or store your personal information (for example your name or address) so this information can’t be used to identify who you are.

We don’t allow Google to use or share our analytics data.

You can opt out of Google Analytics cookies.

Google Analytics sets the following cookies:

Universal Analytics

Name Purpose Expires after
_ga This helps us count how many people visit ESFA sites by tracking if you’ve visited before. 2 years
_gat Used to manage the rate at which page view requests are made. 10 minutes

Application Insights

We use Microsoft Azure Application Insights to monitor and improve the performance.

Name Purpose Expires after
ai_session Allow us to monitor the service over the user’s current session. 10 minutes
ai_user Allow us to monitor the service over a longer period of time. 1 year

Read more about Application Insights data retention

Session cookies

We store session cookies on your computer to help keep your information secure while you use the service.

Name Purpose Expires after
.AspNet.Cookies Stores the session id and settings of a signed in user that are lost when the session ends. End of session
ASP.NET_SessionId Stores the session id and settings of a signed in user that are lost when the session ends. End of session
_RequestVerificationToken Stores a session key that protects against cross site request forgery (CSRF) attacks. End of session
sfa-das-employerapprenticeshipsservice-flashmessage To store temporarily, a record of your activity on the website; for example, when you progress to a new page, or when you enter correct or incorrect data. All the information is encrypted. End of session

HotJar - user behaviour data

We use HotJar to anonymously monitor user behaviour and give us insight into how to fix user experience problems.

Name Purpose Expires after
_hjClosedSurveyInvites This cookie is set once a visitor interacts with a Survey invitation modal popup. It is used to ensure that the same invite does not re-appear if it has already been shown. 1 year
_hjDonePolls This cookie is set once a visitor completes a poll using the Feedback Poll widget. It is used to ensure that the same poll does not re-appear if it has already been filled in. 1 year
_hjMinimizedPolls This cookie is set once a visitor minimizes a Feedback Poll widget. It is used to ensure that the widget stays minimised when the visitor navigates through your site. 1 year
_hjDoneTestersWidgets This cookie is set once a visitor submits their information in the Recruit User Testers widget. It is used to ensure that the same form does not re-appear if it has already been filled in. 1 year
_hjMinimizedTestersWidgets This cookie is set once a visitor minimizes a Recruit User Testers widget. It is used to ensure that the widget stays minimised when the visitor navigates through your site. 1 year
_hjIncludedInSample This session cookie is set to let HotJar know whether that visitor is included in the sample which is used to generate funnels. 1 year

Cookies pop-up message

You may see a pop-up welcome message when you first visit an ESFA site. When you click this message we store a cookie, so that your computer knows you’ve seen it and knows not to show it again.

Name Purpose Expires after
seen_cookie_message Saves a message to let us know that you’ve seen our cookie message. 28 days

Other government services

Most services we link to are run by different government departments, eg HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or the Home Office. These services may set additional cookies and, if so, will have their own cookies policy.

Our survey

We use SurveyMonkey to collect responses to the survey. If you take part, SurveyMonkey will save extra cookies to your computer to track your progress through it.