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Key competencies of adults

PIAAC (Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies) is an ongoing international study of key competencies (literacy, numeracy and adaptive problem solving) that are important for adults aged 16 to 65 in order for them to be able to actively participate in daily social life.

This study is organised by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and conducted in Austria by Statistics Austria on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy.

The PIAAC study is designed in ten-year cycles, with a PIAAC cycle consisting of a field test and a main survey. The field test of the first PIAAC cycle took place in 2010 and the subsequent main survey in 2011/12. The field test of the second PIAAC cycle was conducted in 2021 and the main survey is carried out from September 2022 till spring 2023.

How is the data protected?

The data collected in this survey is processed in accordance with the Federal Statistics Act and the Data Protection Act, i. e. anonymisation is carried out before data processing. Statistical statements refer to groups (e. g. age, gender) and it is not possible to trace information back to an individual person. Of course, data protection also includes that data with personal information may not be passed on to any other body.



How are participants selected for the survey?

In PIAAC, adults aged 16 to 65 who are randomly selected from the Central Population Register are interviewed by interviewers from Statistics Austria.


Is the survey legally compulsory?

There is no legal obligation to participate in the survey and the participation in this survey is therefore voluntary. However, a high level of participation is of great importance for the quality of the data and ultimately for the statistical statements on adult skills in Austria.

A complete PIAAC interview can take an average of 90 to 120 minutes. The interview itself is a face-to-face interview, which consists of the following sub-components:

  • Background questionnaire: In this section, information about the interviewee is collected in a questionnaire. This part lasts on average about 30 to 45 minutes and deals with demographic characteristics (age, gender, etc.), educational background and especially with literacy and numeracy activities in everyday life as well as at work.
  • Task section: In this second section, the respondents independently solve everyday tasks on a tablet, whereby the tasks can come from the areas of literacy, numeracy and problem solving. The latter area is surveyed for the first time in the second PIAAC cycle. This part of the interview takes an average of 60 to 90 minutes.

As a thank you for the time spent, participants receive a shopping voucher worth 50 euro. Or you decide to make a donation: Statistics Austria will forward 50 euro as a donation to a nature conservation project.

Sie möchten weitere Informationen zu PIAAC? In diesem Fall kontaktieren Sie uns einfach Phone: +43 1 711 28-8488
piaac@statistik.gv.at Mo - Fr von 8:00–17:00 Uhr
Last updated on 2023-01-18.
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