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The Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is an OECD-led project conducted across many countries to compare adults’ capabilities in everyday tasks involving literacy and numeracy. The pilot survey for the 2021-22 round of PIAAC was due to take place in April. This has been cancelled and the overall timetable for Ireland’s participation in the 2021-22 round of PIAAC has been reviewed and due to commence in September 2022.

Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC)

The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is an international programme of assessment of adult skills and competencies initiated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It is carried out on a ten-year cycle.

PIAAC Cycle 2 is being undertaken in Ireland by the CSO during 2021 and 2022 at the request of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science . This study was previously conducted in Ireland in 2012.

PIAAC Cycle 2 ensures continuity on the work of previous studies including PIAAC Cycle 1 in 2012, the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) between 1994 and 1998 and the Adult Literacy and Life skills (ALL) Study from 2002 to 2006.

Results of PIAAC Cycle 2 are expected in 2024 when national and international reports on the study will be published.

Read more: 

link to OECD PIAAC homepage

link to PIAAC 2012 Report

PIAAC 2012 Survey Results for Ireland (PDF 11,733KB)

link OECD Documents

 PIAAC aims at measuring adults’ skills in literacy, numeracy and adaptive problem solving.

  1. It relates performances to a wide range of factors including education history, social background and work environment.
  2. This data can be used to develop strategies to address adult competencies that would be benchmarked between countries. These competencies are believed to underlie both personal and societal success.
  3. The performances of education and training systems can also be gauged, and policies enhanced for improved competitiveness.
  4. PIAAC measures relationships between individuals’ educational background, workplace experiences, occupational attainment, use of information, communications technology and cognitive skills in the areas of literacy, numeracy and adaptive problem-solving.

The main study of PIAAC cycle 2 will begin in September 2022

Approximately 5,000 individuals between the ages of 16 and 65 in each of the 32 participating countries will partake in the study. This study will be repeated every ten years to provide a comparative analysis of skill-formation systems and their outcomes.

Supporting organisations 

A number of organisations endorsed PIAAC and encouraged household participation in this survey.

Information for respondents

Here you will find copies of the literature distributed to households as well as examples of the questions asked in the study.

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