PIAAC – International survey of Adult Skills

The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competence (PIAAC) is the most comprehensive international survey of adult skills ever undertaken.

PIAAC attempts to assess and compare the basic skills and the broad range of competencies of adults. It includes cognitive and workplace skills needed for successful participation in 21st century societies and the global economy. OECD published the results from 23 countries, including Norway’s, on the 8th of October, 2013.

By assessing the core skills possessed by adults in participating countries PIAAC will provide information on skills that people use at work and in their everyday lives. Understanding these skills and the ways they are developed and maintained is very useful information for policy makers. The results may have wide-ranging consequences for policy and education planning in the participating countries.


The survey is carried out by interviewing 5000 adults aged 16-65 in Norway.

Main Elements of the Survey

Previous surveys of Adult Skills

The OECD's website contains other material on adult skills. Either browse by topic (Education) or search using the phrase Adult Literacy.The OECD Skills Strategy is a key document.

Facts about PIAAC

  • PIAAC stands for "Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies".
  • PIAAC is coordinated internationally by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
  • The survey is conducted in 32 countries in two rounds. Round 1 results from 23 countries will be published in October 2013. Round 2 results (nine countries) will be published in 2016.
  • PIAAC builds on two previous international surveys for adult skills, the International Adult Literacy Survey, IALS (1994–1998) and the Life Skills Survey, ALL (2004-2006).
  • Statistics Norway, SSB, is responsible for the Norwegian contribution to the OECD-report and is financed by the Ministry of Education and Research and the Ministry of Labour.

Skills Norway participates together with several research organisations in a Norwegian reference group.

Go to OECD's PIAAC webpage for more information on the Adult Skills Survey