OECD PIAAC: 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 three cycles: 2008–2013, 2012–2016, and 2015–2019.

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. The study aims, in particular, to provide the more than 30 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, 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, the German Institute for International Education Research (DIPF) in Frankfurt, Germany, and the IEA.

The IEA’s contribution

The IEA contributes to PIAAC by providing software for national-level data management tasks (such as collating and verifying sampling information, response data, and paradata 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. The IEA also provides participating countries with consultancy and training services in various fields, including data management and validation, occupational coding, data analysis, and other methodological and statistical matters.


Tim Daniel +49 40 48500 719 – piaac [at] iea-hamburg.de