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4228.0.30.001 - Microdata: Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, Australia, 2011-2012 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/10/2013   
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INTRODUCTION

The 2011-2012 Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is an international survey coordinated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The OECD published a comprehensive International Report on 8 October 2013. Access is provided free of charge to an online Data Explorer tool, with which it is possible to design and create output in the form of tables and graphs. Security measures will ensure the confidentiality of survey respondents. A Public Use Data File is also provided free of charge, which contains unit record files of participating countries which can be used to perform analysis. These outputs are available from the OECD website at www.oecd.org/site/piaac/. Australian data is included in the Data Explorer but not in the OECD Public Use Data File, however the Basic CURF (International Comparison version) available in this release is in a format that can be used to analyse Australian data in conjunction with the International data available on the OECD Public Use Data File.

This product provides a range of information about the release of microdata from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, Australia, 2011-2012 (PIAAC) including details about the survey methodology, and how to use the CURFs. Data item lists and information on the conditions of use and the quality of the microdata as well as the definitions used are also provided.

Microdata are the most detailed information available from a survey and are generally the responses to individual questions on the questionnaire or data derived from two or more questions and are released with the approval of the Australian Statistician.


COMPARABILITY OF TIME SERIES

PIAAC was preceded by the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALLS) 2006 and Survey of Aspects of Literacy (SAL) 1996. Data previously released in the ALLS and SAL publications are not directly comparable with PIAAC data. The reason for this is that the literacy and numeracy scores previously published for ALLS and SAL were originally based on a model with a response probability (RP) value of 0.8 but PIAAC scores are based on a model with a RP value of 0.67. The latter value was used in PIAAC to achieve consistency with the OECD survey Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), in the description of what it means to be performing at a particular level of proficiency. The new RP value does not affect the score that was calculated for a respondent. However, it does affect the interpretation of the score. The literacy and numeracy scores for ALLS and SAL have been remodelled to make them consistent with PIAAC, however caution is advised when performing time series comparisons as analysis undertaken by the ABS and internationally has shown that in some cases the observed trend is difficult to reconcile with other known factors and is not fully explained by sampling variability. For more information see the explanatory notes of the publication Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), 2011-2012 (cat. no. 4228.0).

The prose and document literacy scales from ALLS and SAL have been combined to produce a single literacy scale comparable to the PIAAC literacy scale. The numeracy score from ALLS have been recalculated using a model that incorporates the results of all countries that participated in ALLS. (The previous model was based only on countries which participated in the first round of ALLS.) This has resulted in some minor changes to the ALLS numeracy scores. SAL did not collect a numeracy domain which is comparable with ALLS and PIAAC.

Remodelled scores from ALLS and SAL comparable with PIAAC are now available as an updated Expanded and Basic CURF for ALLS and an updated Basic CURF for SAL. In analysing the remodelled scores for ALLS and SAL users should refer to the new skill level descriptions provided in the appendix Scores and skill levels of the PIAAC publication (cat. no. 4228.0). The table below shows the comparability of skill domains across the three adult literacy surveys when using the remodelled scores.


PIAAC 2011-2012
ALLS 2006
SAL 1996
Literacy
P
P
Prose and Document Literacy from ALLS rescaled as Literacy to be comparable to PIAAC
P
Prose and Document Literacy from SAL rescaled as Literacy to be comparable to PIAAC
Numeracy
P
P
Numeracy rescaled to be comparable to PIAAC
O
Problem-solving in technology-rich environments
P
O
Problem-solving from ALLS is not comparable to PIAAC
O

Remodelled scores from ALLS and SAL are also included in data cubes available from the Downloads tab of the publication Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), 2011-2012 (cat. no. 4228.0).

For further information about comparing data from PIAAC with the previous surveys refer to the Comparability of Time Series section in the Explanatory Notes of the publication: Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), 2011-2012 (cat. no. 4228.0)


AVAILABLE PRODUCTS

The following microdata products are available from this survey:
  • Basic CURF on CD-ROM. The Basic CD-ROM allows approved users interactive access in the user’s own environment (via a CD-ROM/DVD).
  • Basic CURF (International Comparison version) as an electronic file. The Basic CURF (International Comparison version) allows approved users interactive access in the user's own environment (via an electronic file) and is set up to enable the user to merge the file with the OECD's Public Use File to produce International comparisons.
  • Expanded CURF via the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) and ABS Data Laboratory (ABSDL). Expanded CURFs allow more detail to be presented for some data items, for example, geography, industry and occupation.


Further information about these services, and other information to assist users in understanding and accessing microdata in general, is available from the Microdata Entry Page on the ABS web site.

Before applying for access to a CURF, users should read and familiarise themselves with the information contained in this product and the User Manual: Responsible Use of ABS CURFS.


APPLY FOR ACCESS

To apply for access to the Basic or Expanded CURFs register and apply in MiCRO. To apply for access to the Basic CURF (International Comparison version) please contact microdata.access@abs.gov.au for further information.


FURTHER INFORMATION

Further information about the survey and the microdata products can be found in this product:
  • A detailed list of data items for the Basic CURFs and Expanded CURF is available on the Downloads tab
  • The Quality Declaration, Abbreviations and Glossary relating to these products can be found in the Explanatory Notes tab
  • Other related products can be found on the Related Information tab.

DATA AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

Data obtained in the survey but not contained on the CURF may be available from the ABS, on request, as statistics in tabulated form.

Subject to confidentiality and sampling variability constraints, special tabulations can be produced incorporating data items, populations and geographic areas selected to meet individual requirements. These are available on request, on a fee for service basis. Contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or client.services@abs.gov.au for further information.


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