Cycle I

The 1st Cycle of PIAAC was conducted in Italy between September 2011 and March 2012, by interviewing around 12,000 individuals aged 16-65.
During the main survey, roughly 4,500 full interviews were conducted, preceded by a pilot survey carried out in the April-June 2010 period.

Survey tools

The survey was implemented by using two major survey tools, both devised by OECD and subsequently translated and adapted to the Italian context by the national team: a Background Questionnaire (BQ) and a number of cognitive tests.

The Background Questionnaire was administered by each interviewer using a study laptop. Tasks were carried out on a study laptop by participants with sufficient IT skills, or in the paper-and-pencil mode by participants with low IT skills.Relevant information was collected by using the BQ, to cover several aspect of participants’ daily life and work, including:

  • Basic demographics and social status;
  • Past and present education;
  • Work training experience;
  • Present employment status;
  • Past work history;
  • Social attitude;
  • General family background information.

A special BQ section, based on the Job Requirements Approach (JRA), was used to collect data on the skills used by participants in carrying out their tasks at work.

Literacy and Numeracy cognitive tests

Cognitive tests of the 1st PIAAC Cycle administered in Italy covered the Literacy and Numeracy domains.

Literacy is defined as the ability to understand, evaluate, use and engage with written texts to participate effectively in society, achieve one’s goals, and develop one’s knowledge and human potential.

Numeracy is defined as the ability to access, use, interpret and communicate mathematical information and ideas, in order to engage in and manage the mathematical demands of a range of situations in adult life, by responding to mathematical content, information, and ideas represented in multiple ways.

Reading Component

In the 1st Cycle of the survey Italy, along with other Countries, also used Reading Components tests, i.e. tasks to measure participants’ basic elements of reading, which are among PIAAC’s innovations as against the previous surveys.

This optional section is addressed to adults at the lower end of the literacy spectrum

The following diagram displays the survey workflow

Learn more:
The PIAAC conceptual framework: methodology and tools for the assessment of competencies
OECD Document | Italy
Video | PIAAC Survey Cycle I

PIAAC Italy Brochure | Cycle I