What is PIAAC?

We are living in the midst of a technological revolution. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are affecting nearly every aspect of life and becoming more deeply embedded in society with every passing year. The labour market is shifting toward services and away from manufacturing; government and the private sector are increasingly delivering services electronically; and computers have become ubiquitous in the workplace. The skills we need to thrive in the 21st century are changing.

PIAAC is the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, an international assessment of the foundational information-processing skills required for participation in the social and economic life of advanced economies in the 21st century.

An initiative of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), PIAAC provides a highly detailed survey of skills in : literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments (PS-TRE) among adults between the ages of 16 and 65, in 24 countries and sub-national regions along with all of Canada's provinces and territories. These core skills form the basis for cultivating other, higher-level skills necessary to functioning at home, school, and work, and in the community.

Data from PIAAC will provide a measure of cognitive and workplace skills, a rich evidence base for policy-relevant analysis, a better measure of a country's “stock” of skills, insights into whether education and training programs are focusing on the right competencies, and the capacity to compare skills among a broad cross-section of countries around the world.