Cycle II

The second Cycle of the PIAAC survey was launched in 2018 with over 30 participating Countries throughout the world, including Italy.

Data collection for the main survey will be conducted between September 2022 and July 2023 and will involve roughly 12,000 participants. This round will be preceded by a pilot survey to be launched in late April 2021 and meant to be completed in July 2021, with a little less than 6,000 participants involved.

Just like in Cycle I, the survey will include a Background Questionnaire (BQ) to be administered by interviewers, and cognitive tests to be directly carried out by participants.

All survey tools, as devised by OECD, were translated and adapted to the Italian context by the national team.

The BQ is administered by each interviewer by means of a tablet. Cognitive tests are carried out on a tablet by participants with sufficient IT skills, or in the paper-and-pencil mode by participants with low IT skills. With regard to the Pilot Survey the paper-and-pencil mode is not available.

The BQ collects relevant information on basic demographics and social status, past and present education and work training experience, employment status and past work history, alongside more “personal” aspects such as social attitudes and general family background information.

As far as Italy is concerned, PIAAC 2nd cycle cognitive tests cover the Literacy, Numeracy and Adaptive Problem Solving domains.

Literacy is defined as the ability to understand, and use information contained in written texts in a variety of contexts to achieve one’s goals and develop one’s knowledge and human potential. Literacy skills are a prerequisite to develop more complex skills and to achieve favourable economic and social results. Previous surveys showed literacy to be closely related to positive work results, social involvement and lifelong learning.

Numeracy is defined as the ability to use, apply, interpret and communicate mathematical information and ideas. It’s a crucial skill in an era when individuals encounter an increasing amount and a wide range of mathematical and quantitative information in their daily life. Numeracy is a skill that complements Literacy and it’s important to evaluate how these skills interact with each other.

Adaptive Problem Solving is the ability to use technology to solve problems and carry out complex tasks. Assessing Adaptive Problem Solving overtly takes into account individuals’ ability to solve multiple problems at the same time, which requires individuals to manage the order according to which a list of problems is tackled and monitor the opportunities that arise to solve different types of problems.

As far as Cycle II of the PIAAC survey is concerned, Italy, along with other Countries, has participated both to the Reading and Numeracy Component optional section and to the optional section included in the BQ and devoted to measure individuals’ social and emotional abilities.