Cookie policy

At the Royal College of Nursing, we’re committed to delivering the best possible experience for our members and customers across our websites. We use cookies to help us do this. If you continue to use our website without changing your settings, we'll assume you’re happy to receive all cookies on the RCN website.

You can find out more information below on what cookies are, how we use them and how you can change your cookie settings.

This policy was last reviewed and updated: 15/12/2021

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.

We use cookies to:

  • Allow our websites to work and help keep them safe and secure e.g. to load images and to allow you to log in securely.
  • Improve the performance of our websites by helping us analyse how they are used and understand which parts work well, and which don't.
  • Improve visitors’ experience on our websites, for example we use cookies to remember the articles you’ve read so that we can make better recommendations for what you might like to read next.
  • Deliver relevant online advertising to visitors on our websites and third-party websites. These cookies are placed by us and selected third-parties and enable advertisements to be presented on our and third-party websites.
  • Understand how effective our online advertising communications are.

Depending on who owns the cookie, they are classified as:

First-party cookies: These are created by the website (domain) you are visiting, for example rcn.org.uk.

Third-party cookies: These are created by domains other than the one you are visiting. They allow tracking across different sites to help deliver services, and also to retarget and show ads to you. For example, Hotjar and Google Analytics.

Depending on the purpose of the cookie, they are classified as:

Essential cookies

Essential cookies are technical cookies that are required for the operation of our websites. Without these our sites can’t operate properly. Examples include cookies that enable you to log into secure areas, allow images to load, and orders to be processed.

Experience cookies

Experience cookies allow our websites to:

  • Recognise and count the number of visitors, and to see how they move through the website. This helps us to better understand and improve the way our sites work.
  • Remember the choices you make, providing you with better and more personalised features. For example, to compare the choices you make to those of our other visitors so that we can learn from those choices and provide enhanced, more personalised features to you, such as product recommendations.

Experience cookies cannot track your browsing activity when you leave our websites to browse other websites.

Marketing & Advertising cookies

Advertising cookies record your visits to our websites, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We use this information to:

  • Help make the advertising displayed on our websites and certain third-party websites more relevant to your interests.
  • Limit the number of times that you see an ad.
  • Help measure the effectiveness of an advertising campaign.

If you would like to find out more about the specific cookies we use, you can contact our Data Protection Officer at dataprotection@rcn.org.uk.

Depending on the lifespan of the cookie, they are classified as:

  • Persistent cookies: Persistent cookies remain on your device over a longer period of time defined by the owner of the cookie and are deleted manually or automatically afterwards.
  • Session cookies: Session cookies remain on your device only until you close your browser, then they are automatically deleted.

Here’s a full list of the cookies used on our websites and their lifespans:

Essential Cookies

Provider Name Purpose Duration
Azure ARRAffinity / ARRAffinitySameSite This cookie is set by websites run on the Windows Azure cloud platform. It is used for load balancing to make sure the visitor page requests are routed to the same server in any browsing session. Session
Microsoft ASP.NET_SessionId The default ASP.NET session ID cookie. This cookie is necessary for site functionality. It stores a unique identifier for each visit to retain session state across multiple pages. Session
__RequestVerificationToken This is an anti-forgery token (preventing CSRF attacks). It guarantees that the poster is the one who gets the form. Session
Sitecore SC_ANALYTICS_GLOBAL_COOKIE Sitecore's analytics cookie. Stores an ID that represents the device (issued by Sitecore) and a true/false value indicating whether visitor classification was guessed (robot or not robot). Used by the tracker to identify a returning contact. Only issued if tracking is enabled. Persistent
RCN rcnssosession RCN authentication cookie for logged in site users Persistent
Revive Adserver OAID Cookie that stores opt-out status for Ads provided by Revive Adserver Persistent

Experience Cookies

Provider Name Purpose Duration
Google Analytics _gat
_gat_{property-id}
_gid
__utmt
__utmb
__utmc
Google Analytics enables the RCN to view how you interact with website content. Please note that in order to avoid the collection of your Personal Data by Google, we have set up the tool in a manner which prevents the collection of IP addresses. Neither the RCN nor Google are able to identify you and your online activity Session
_ga
__utma br /> __utmz
__utmv
Persistent
Hotjar _hjSessionUser{site_id} Hotjar cookie that is set when a user first lands on a page with the Hotjar script. It is used to persist the Hotjar User ID, unique to that site on the browser. This ensures that behaviour in subsequent visits to the same site will be attributed to the same user ID. Persistent
_hjSession{site_id} A cookie that holds the current session data. This ensues that subsequent requests within the session window will be attributed to the same Hotjar session. Session
_hjClosedSurveyInvites Hotjar cookie that is set once a user interacts with an External Link Survey invitation modal. It is used to ensure that the same invite does not reappear if it has already been shown. Persistent
_hjDonePolls Hotjar cookie that is set once a user completes a survey using the On-site Survey widget. It is used to ensure that the same survey does not reappear if it has already been filled in. Persistent
_hjMinimizedPolls Hotjar cookie that is set once a user minimizes an On-site Survey widget. It is used to ensure that the widget stays minimized when the user navigates through your site. Persistent
_hjSessionTooLarge Causes Hotjar to stop collecting data if a session becomes too large. This is determined automatically by a signal from the WebSocket server if the session size exceeds the limit. Session
_hjSessionRejected If present, this cookie will be set to '1' for the duration of a user's session, if Hotjar rejected the session from connecting to our WebSocket due to server overload. This cookie is only applied in extremely rare situations to prevent severe performance issues. Session
_hjSessionResumed A cookie that is set when a session/recording is reconnected to Hotjar servers after a break in connection. Session
_hjid Hotjar cookie that is set when the customer first lands on a page with the Hotjar script. It is used to persist the Hotjar User ID, unique to that site on the browser. This ensures that behavior in subsequent visits to the same site will be attributed to the same user ID. Persistent
_hjRecordingLastActivity This should be found in Session storage (as opposed to cookies). This gets updated when a user recording starts and when data is sent through the WebSocket (the user performs an action that Hotjar records). Session
_hjTLDTest When the Hotjar script executes we try to determine the most generic cookie path we should use, instead of the page hostname. This is done so that cookies can be shared across subdomains (where applicable). To determine this, we try to store the _hjTLDTest cookie for different URL substring alternatives until it fails. After this check, the cookie is removed. Session
_hjUserAttributesHash User Attributes sent through the Hotjar Identify API are cached for the duration of the session in order to know when an attribute has changed and needs to be updated. Session
_hjCachedUserAttributes This cookie stores User Attributes which are sent through the Hotjar Identify API, whenever the user is not in the sample. Collected attributes will only be saved to Hotjar servers if the user interacts with a Hotjar Feedback tool, but the cookie will be used regardless of whether a Feedback tool is present. Session
_hjLocalStorageTest This cookie is used to check if the Hotjar Tracking Script can use local storage. If it can, a value of 1 is set in this cookie. The data stored in_hjLocalStorageTest has no expiration time, but it is deleted almost immediately after it is created. Session
_hjIncludedInPageviewSample This cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether that user is included in the data sampling defined by your site's pageview limit. Session
_hjIncludedInSessionSample This cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether that user is included in the data sampling defined by your site's daily session limit. Session
_hjAbsoluteSessionInProgress This cookie is used to detect the first pageview session of a user. This is a True/False flag set by the cookie. Session
_hjFirstSeen This is set to identify a new user’s first session. It stores a true/false value, indicating whether this was the first time Hotjar saw this user. It is used by Recording filters to identify new user sessions. Session
_hjViewportId This stores information about the user viewport such as size and dimensions. Session
_hjRecordingEnabled This is added when a Recording starts and is read when the recording module is initialized to see if the user is already in a recording in a particular session. Session

Marketing/Advertising Cookies

Provider Name Purpose Duration
QuantCast _qca Marketing/Tracking Persistent
Facebook _fbp To store and track visits across websites Persistent
DotDigital dmSessionID
recordID
Tracks and identifies a visitor as a Dotdigital contact whilst they browse a site's pages. This data can then be used for better segmenting and targeting of contacts. Persistent

We use cookies to collect information such as your Internet Protocol (IP) address, country, browser type, referring/exit pages, operating system and date/time of visit. This data is routinely recorded by the vast majority of web sites and is for statistical purposes only.

We and our partners use cookies and similar technologies, such as tags and pixels, to personalise and improve your experience on our websites.

When visiting a Royal College of Nursing website for the first time on a device, you will see a cookies banner explaining that we use cookies, with the option to read more or agree to the use of cookies and continue to use the website.

We are currently developing the option for you to easily opt in and out of unnecessary cookies on our website. However, until this functionality is available, you will have to use the settings on your browser to control the cookies used.

Browser controls

The following browsers provide guidance on their websites on how to block cookies:

More information about cookies, including how to block them or delete them, can be found at http://www.aboutcookies.org/

If you have any further questions, comments or requests regarding our cookie policy or how we use cookies on our sites, then you can contact our Data Protection Officer at dataprotection@rcn.org.uk

Please be aware that if you turn cookies off you may not be able to access all or parts of our sites.

We know how important it is to protect and manage your data. Here are some of the measures we have in place to ensure we do that:

  • We apply physical, electronic and procedural safeguards in connection with the collection, storage and disclosure of personal data.
  • We protect the security of your information while it is being transmitted by encrypting it.
  • We use computer safeguards such as firewalls and data encryption to keep this data safe.
  • We only authorise access to employees and trusted partners who need it to carry out their responsibilities.
  • We regularly monitor our systems for possible vulnerabilities and attacks, and we carry out penetration testing to identify ways to further strengthen security.
  • We will ask for proof of identity before we share your personal data with you.
  • We will reveal only the last four digits of your payment card number when confirming an order.

Whilst we take appropriate technical and organisational measures to safeguard your personal data, it is important that you keep your login details and devices protected from unauthorised access.

You can find out more information on our Privacy Policy page.

You will need to make a rights request by emailing dataprotection@rcn.org.uk or writing a letter to: Data Protection Officer, 20 Cavendish Square, London, W1G 0RN.

You can also find out more information on our Privacy Policy page.

You can contact our Data Protection Officer by emailing dataprotection@rcn.org.uk or writing a letter to: Data Protection Officer, 20 Cavendish Square, London, W1G 0RN

You have a number of rights in relation to the information that we hold about you. These rights include:

  • The right to access information we hold about you and to obtain information about how we process it.
  • In some circumstances, the right to withdraw your consent to our processing of your information, which you can do at any time. We may continue to process your information if we have another legitimate reason for doing so.
  • In some circumstances, the right to receive certain information you have provided to us in an electronic format and/or request that we transmit it to a third-party.
  • The right to request that we rectify your information if it’s inaccurate or incomplete.
  • In some circumstances, the right to request that we erase your information. We may continue to retain your information if we’re entitled or required to retain it.
  • The right to object to, and to request that we restrict, our processing of your information in some circumstances. Again, there may be situations where you object to, or ask us to restrict, our processing of your information but we’re entitled to continue processing your information and/or to refuse that request.

You can also find out more information on our Privacy Policy page

We reserve the right to change our cookie policy at any time. Any changes to this cookie policy in the future will be posted on this page and we will take all measures necessary to communicate any changes to you. We will also bring your attention to such changes by updating our cookie banner on our websites.

This policy was last reviewed and updated: 15/12/2021