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Programme for the International
Assessment of Adult Competencies

Project Structure

PIAAC is an initiative of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The decision-making committee for PIAAC is the Board of Participating Countries (BPC), consisting of representatives of the funding bodies of the participating countries. In the BPC, Germany is represented by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.


An international consortium is responsible for the international project implementation. The international consortium for PIAAC consists of six organizations from four different countries. Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, USA, led by project director Dr. Irwin Kirsch, is responsible for the overall coordination of PIAAC. The consortium is responsible for the international study design, international project management, development of the survey instruments and software (cognitive assessment and background questionnaire), quality measures for all aspects of the study, monitoring of participating countries, international data management, data scaling and analysis.
This consortium is supported and advised by a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) which consists of internationally renowned researchers. The Technical Advisory Group advises the consortium on methodological matters such as survey design, achievement of international comparability, and data analysis options.
In addition, there is an expert group for each cognitive domain measured in PIAAC as well as for the background questionnaire (Subject Matter Expert Groups, SMEG). The expert groups support the consortium in the conceptual development and operationalization of the measurement constructs.

Distribution of tasks among the international partners


GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences was commissioned by the Ministry of Education and Research to carry out the national project implementation in Germany. At GESIS, a team of researchers led by Prof. Dr. Beatrice Rammstedt and Dipl.-Psych. Anouk Zabal work on the PIAAC project. The German PIAAC team is supported by a Scientific Advisory Board. The Board advises the PIAAC team on important matters and decisions related to the national implementation of PIAAC. In addition, the German PIAAC team is advised by scientific experts from various content-related and methodological areas. These include internal experts at GESIS as well as external researchers.