Assessing adults’ skills on a global scale
A joint analysis of results from PIAAC and STEP
This paper illustrates similarities and differences between two international surveys
that assess adults’ skills: the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult
Competencies (PIAAC) and the Skills Towards Employment and Productivity (STEP) survey.
In particular, the paper highlights the issues that can arise for researchers interested
to jointly analyse the data from the two surveys and to compare their results. The
paper finds that, in spite of the many similarities, important differences exist between
PIAAC and STEP, both in the way the data are collected, and in the way the proficiency
of respondents is estimated. These issues can indeed affect the cross-country comparability
of results from the two surveys. There is instead little evidence that the literacy
assessment used in the two surveys is not adequate to form a basis for a valid assessment
of adults’ proficiency on a global scale.
Published on October 12, 2020