4228.0 - Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, Australia, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/10/2013   
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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 are included in the Data Explorer but not in the OECD Public Use Data File, however the Basic CURF (International Comparison version) available in the PIAAC Microdata 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 release contains Australia data for the literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments skill domains. The data are presented in commentary and a data cube available from the Downloads tab.

PIAAC was enumerated throughout Australia from October 2011 to March 2012.

The survey collected information on skills and competencies for people aged 15 to 74 years in the domains of:
  • literacy;
  • numeracy; and
  • problem solving in technology-rich environments.

PIAAC also collected information on topics including education and training, labour force activities, income and skills used at work and in everyday life.

Information on the concepts and methods used in the survey, reliability of the results and definitions are included in the Explanatory Notes, Glossary, Appendices and Data quality (Technical Note).

Additional data cubes containing state and territory data are to be appended to this product in 2014. Users can subscribe to receive Email Notifications to be advised when updates are available for this product. From the attached link, select 4. Social Statistics, sub-topic 42. Education, then select the product 4228.0 Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies.


PIAAC was preceded by the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALLS) 2006 and Survey of Aspects of Literacy (SAL) 1996. It was previously advised that comparable data would be available in this release. However, data based on remodelled literacy scores (from ALLS and SAL) and numeracy scores (from ALLS) are not currently available, and will be included in additional data cubes in a subsequent release. Data previously released in the ALLS and SAL publications are not directly comparable with PIAAC data due to:
  • changes in the interpretation of the skill levels;
  • combining the prose and document literacy scales into a single literacy scale; and
  • the numeracy scores from ALLS being recalculated using a model to incorporate the results of all countries that participated in ALLS. (The previous model was based only on countries that participated in the first round of ALLS.)

Refer to the Comparability of Time Series section in the Explanatory Notes for further information about comparing data from PIAAC with the previous surveys.


As estimates have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sum of component items and the published total. Published percentages are calculated prior to rounding and therefore some discrepancy may occur between these percentages and those that could be calculated from the rounded figures.


Information about Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) activities in the education and training field is available from the Education and Training Topics @ a Glance page on the ABS website.

For more information about the PIAAC international survey, refer to the OECD website at www.oecd.org.


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on
1300 135 070.