COVID-19 update

We are currently operating under hybrid working arrangements. For details on how you can access our service, please read our information for customers and organisations


When we provide services via our website, we want to make them easy to use, useful and reliable. This sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on the device you are using for accessing the website, for example your computer or mobile phone. We do this using small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

Cookies are used by SPSO to improve services for you by:

  • Enabling a service to recognise your device so you don’t have to give the same information during one task, for example to remember the information you entered on the first page of a multi-page form;
  • Remembering settings so you don’t have to re-enter them every time you visit a new page;
  • Measuring how many people are using the website and how they navigate the website, so that we can identify ways to make it easier to use and make sure that there is enough capacity for the website to perform well and respond quickly.

Our cookies aren’t used to identify you personally. They’re just here to make the site work better for you. Indeed, you can manage and/or delete these small files as you wish.

To learn more about cookies and how to manage them, visit Or please read on to find out more about how and where we use cookies.

How we use cookies

The lists below show all of the cookies that may be set when you visit the SPSO website.

Cookies for improving our 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 the website is available when you want it and to help us understand what you want to use.

Name Typical Content Expires
_ga Randomly generated number 2 years
_gat Randomly generated number 30 minutes
_gid Randomly generated number when you close your browser

For further details on the cookies set by Google Analytics, please refer to the Google Code website.

Cookies for managing your current visit

We use 2 cookies to remember your selections or preferences that you’ve made when looking at the information on the SPSO website.

Name Typical Content Purpose Expires
PHPSESSID Randomly generated text Session identifier When you close your browser
has_js 1 or 0 Identifies whether device is javascript-capable When you close your browser
CookieControl Individual cookie settings Stores details of your cookie preferences on this site 3 months after you last set your cookie preferences

If you have any queries about these cookies or would like more information about them, please contact us.

Updated: February 26, 2020