Programme for the International
Assessment of Adult Competencies

Background Questionnaire

The background questionnaire collects demographic and other key information about the respondent. It includes, for example, questions about age, educational background (e.g., highest educational qualification, non-formal learning and training activities), work history, household and family background (e.g., household size, language most frequently spoken at home). The respondents are also asked to report how often they use various skills in their everyday lives. In addition, employed persons are asked how often they use various skills at work. There are also questions about respondents' personality traits and attitudes.

This information can be used, for example, to explore important factors that influence the development and maintenance of skills in adulthood.

The key elements of the PIAAC background questionnaire are:

  • Socioeconomic and demographic background
  • Formal education, non-formal education and training activities
  • Current employment status, work history, and work environment
  • Use of skills in everyday life and at work
  • General background questions, attitudes, and personality traits