Privacy and cookies

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The National Careers Service is funded and managed by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), an executive agency of the Department for Education (DfE). For the purposes of relevant data protection legislation, the DfE is the data controller for processed personal information.

This page explains how we use and protect the personal information that we collect from you when you use the National Careers Service.

You can get detailed information on how we handle your personal information by visiting the ESFA: privacy notice.

How we use your personal information

We collect your personal information so that the DfE can provide this service, which includes:

  • the National Careers Service website
  • services delivered through the website
  • our national telephone helpline
  • the local area careers advisory services, who provide face-to-face advice

When you use the National Careers Service, we collect personal information:

  • to help us provide the services you’ve requested
  • to provide statistical information to partner organisations
  • for evidence and to support payments to organisations delivering careers advice on our behalf
  • to improve our services by analysing how they are used

How to withdraw your consent

If you choose not to allow us to collect additional information, you will still receive the same level of service.

If you do provide this extra information, you can choose to withdraw your consent at any time. You can do this if you:

  • have an online account – sign in, go to ‘Your account’, and in the ‘Manage your account – Your details’ section change your marketing preferences
  • call an adviser on 0800 100 900 – tell them you wish to withdraw your consent for customer satisfaction surveys, and your ethnicity and disability information as appropriate
  • speak to a local adviser by phone or face to face – tell them you wish to withdraw your consent for customer satisfaction surveys, and your ethnicity and disability information as appropriate

Where we collect personal information

We do not collect any personal information when you use The Skills Toolkit area of our website.

Personal information is provided directly by you to the National Careers Service when you:

  • talk to us on the phone or face to face
  • use our website or webchat
  • send us emails, text messages or online messages

We may collect personal information about you from other systems, or organisations funded by the ESFA and from:

  • the Find an apprenticeship service
  • the Department for Work and Pensions, if you’ve been referred by Jobcentre Plus
  • organisations that pass on your details, so that we can make contact with you

Where we share your information

We may share your personal information with other services run by the ESFA and partner organisations, where the law allows it or we have a legal obligation to do so. This is to support the delivery of careers advice and guidance services to you.

We may share information with the following:

  • organisations working on behalf of local careers advice services
  • organisations who introduce you to us, so that we can update them about your progress
  • referral organisations, for example ones that we think may be able to offer you specialist support
  • Ofsted, so that they can check the quality of advice given to you by the National Careers Service
  • market research companies, who check how satisfied you are with the service you’ve received – though only if you’ve agreed to this
  • educational institutions and organisations performing research and statistical work on behalf of the Department for Education, or partners of those organisations

How long we keep your personal information

We will only keep your information for as long as is necessary.

We may need to keep some of your personal information for up to 6 years after you stop using the service to satisfy our contractual audit requirements. Personal information kept for this reason will be restricted to a minimum and is to provide confirmation of payments to organisations who deliver careers advice services on our behalf.

Your information will be held securely and destroyed when it is no longer required.

How to get a copy of your personal information

You can request a copy of any of your personal information that the National Careers Service holds by contacting the Department for Education, or by writing to:

Ministerial and Public Communications Division
Department for Education
Piccadilly Gate
Store Street
M1 2WD

How to tell us if your personal information is incorrect

You have the right to question any information we have about you that you think is wrong or incomplete. To do this, please contact us by:

  • using the telephone service on 0800 100 900
  • speaking to your local careers adviser, using the details they have given you

We will take reasonable steps to check the information’s accuracy and correct it where necessary, and inform any organisations we may have shared it with.

How to complain

Please let us know if you’re unhappy with how we have used your personal information by contacting the Department for Education.

You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

How we use cookies

We put small files, called ‘cookies’, onto your computer when you use The Skills Toolkit and the National Careers Service website.

Cookies collect information about how you browse the site. They also:

  • measure how you use the site so we can improve it and meet your needs
  • remember the notifications you’ve seen so that we do not show them to you again

We do not use cookies to identify you personally. You’ll usually see a message before we store cookies on your computer.

Some cookies may be be placed on your computer by third parties and partners we work with. We use these cookies to:

  • help us understand how you use our website
  • capture your comments and feedback through surveys
  • provide online support if you need to speak to a careers adviser

You can change cookie preferences for this website at any time.

Find out more about how to manage cookies.

Cookies that measure website usage

We use Google Analytics software to collect information about how you use The Skills Toolkit and the National Careers Service website. We do this to help make sure the site is meeting the needs of its users, and to help us to make improvements.

You can opt out of Google Analytics cookies at any time.

We do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data.

Google Analytics sets the following cookies:

Name Purpose Expires
_ga This helps us count how many people visit the site by tracking if you’ve visited before 2 years
_gid Stores and updates a unique value for each page you’ve visited to help us improve your experience 24 hours
_gat Used to manage the rate at which page view requests are made 10 minutes

Strictly necessary cookies

These cookies are essential for our website services to perform their basic functions. These cookies do not collect information about you. They help us provide our information and services safely and in the best way possible. They always need to be on.

Name Purpose Expires
CookieControl Stores users cookie consent settings when you close your browser


Measuring the success of our adverts

Where government uses advertising, we want to make sure that this money is well spent.

To help measure this, pixels and tags (also known as cookies) are used on our marketing campaign pages.

Facebook Pixels allow us to track how many users click on an advert and arrive on our campaign page. We can then understand which adverts are appealing to our users so that we can improve our advertising.

We use the following cookies:

Name Purpose Expires
Facebook Pixel (ID:4407010399369705) To track the effectiveness of our online advertising 180 days