Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies

The Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), commissioned by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), examines the skills of adults as a way of investigating the link between skills and outcomes in educational, social, and labor-market contexts. The study to date consists of two cycles. Cycle 1 was conducted in three rounds (2008–2013, 2012–2016, and 2015–2019). Cycle 2 started in 2018 with reporting planned for 2023.

The assessment measures the literacy and numeracy skills of people between the ages of 16 and 65 and also looks at how well these individuals solve problems in technology-rich environments (cycle 1) or adaptive problem solving (cycle 2). The study aims, in particular, to provide the participating countries with a profile of their adult population in terms of the knowledge, skills, and competencies that are thought to underlie personal and societal success. A second important aim is to help identify the factors policymakers could address to enhance these competencies.

For additional information, please visit the OECD PIAAC website.

Our Partners

The PIAAC consortium for cycle 2, led by Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, United States, also consists of Westat in Rockville, United States, cApStAn in Brussels, Belgium, the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, the Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (GESIS) in Mannheim, Germany, and the IEA.

IEA's Contribution

IEA contributes to PIAAC by providing software for national-level data management tasks (such as collating and verifying sampling information, response data, and process data from computer- and paper-based assessments and interviews), as well as related manuals, guidelines, and technical standards, along with international data harmonization, processing, and support for analyses. IEA also provides participating countries and the international consortium with consultancy and training services in various fields, including monitoring of field work through dashboards, data management and validation, occupational coding, analysis, and other methodological and statistical aspects.