PIAAC Cycle 2 Framework

Assessment or survey framework

Literacy assessment

Definition: Literacy is accessing, understanding, evaluating and reflecting on written texts in order to achieve one’s goals, to develop one’s knowledge and potential and to participate in society.

  • Cognitive processes
    • Accessing text
    • Understanding
    •  Evaluating
  • Content dimension: Texts characterized by their
    • Type (description, narration, exposition, argumentation, instruction, transaction)
    • Format (continuous, noncontinuous, mixed)
    • Organization (the amount of information and the density of content representation and access devices)
    • Source (single vs. multiple texts)
  • Context dimension
    • Work and occupation
    • Personal
    • Social and civic


Numeracy assessment

Definition: Numeracy is accessing, using, and reasoning critically with mathematical content, information and ideas represented in multiple ways in order to engage in and manage the mathematical demands of a range of situations in adult life.

  • Cognitive processes
    • Access and assess situations mathematically
    • Act on and use mathematics
    • Evaluate, critically reflect, make judgements
  • Content dimension
    • Mathematical content information and ideas
      • Quantity and number
      • Space and shape
      • Change and relationships
      • Data and chance
    • Mathematical representations
      • Text or symbols
      • Images of physical objects
      • Structured information
      • Dynamic applications
  • Context dimension
    • Personal
    • Work
    • Societal/community


Adaptive Problem

Definition: Adaptive problem solving involves the capacity to achieve one’s goals in a dynamic situation, in which a method for solution is not immediately available. It requires engaging in cognitive and metacognitive processes to define the problem, search for information, and apply a solution in a variety of information environments and contexts.

  • Content (task) dimensions
    • Problem configuration
    • Dynamics of the situation
    • Features of the environment
    • Information environment
  • Cognitive processes
    • Defining the problem
    • Searching for a solution
    • Applying the solution
  • Context dimension
    • Personal
    • Work
    • Social/community
Contextual or background framework

Basic demographic characteristics and background of the respondents

  • Demographic and social background: age, gender, country of birth, parents’ education, immigration status of the parents, etc.
  • Household and family structure: number of persons, marital status, children, living with a partner, etc.
  • Language background: first and second languages spoken, languages spoken at home, etc.
  • Immigration status: age at which respondent immigrated, first or second generation, etc.


Educational attainment and participation in formal or informal education

  • Educational experience: highest qualification, age at completion, field of study, currently studying, etc.
  • Formal and informal studies in the previous year: which kind, reason for undertaking, total time, barriers for undertaking, etc.


Labor-force status, working history, and job traits

  • Current activity: labor-force status
  • Current job or most recent job: industry, occupation, type of contract, wages, etc.
  • Work history: ever worked, had paid work in previous 12 months, had training, etc.


Skills used at work and in everyday life

  •  Cognitive skills: reading, writing, mathematics, and the use of information and communication technologies
  •  Generic work skills: interaction and social skills, physical skills, and learning skills


Social outcomes

  • Trust
  • Political efficacy
  • Volunteering
  • Health status


Quality of the work environment


Socio-emotional skills: based on the BIG-5 items