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Programme for International Student Assessment Governing Board (PISA)
Dr. Michele Bruniges   
Dr. Maria Helena Guimarães de Castro   
Ms. Jimin Cho   
Dr. Peggy CARR   
(United States)
Open to all Member countries 
Date of creation:
26th September 1997
31st December 2021


   The current five-year mandate of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) [C(2011)92/REV2 and C(2011)92/REV2/CORR1] will expire on 31 December 2016.

   The mandate defines the mission of PISA, which is to implement and analyse internationally standardised assessments of student learning outcomes, seeking to progressively enhance comparative policy insights on how to improve: the quality of learning outcomes; equity in learning opportunities; the effectiveness and efficiency of educational processes; and the impact of learning outcomes. The mandate then sets out details of the arrangements for country participation, the role of the PISA Governing Board (PGB) and its decision-making process, and the budgetary arrangements for the programme.

   A first discussion regarding the revision of the PISA mandate for 2017-2021 took place at the 41st meeting of the PGB on 14-16 June 2016 [EDU/PISA/GB(2016)11]. The main issue that emerged from these discussions was the question of which PGB decision items would require consensus. At the 42nd meeting of the PGB on 17-19 October 2016, a revised draft mandate was discussed, in which reference to the frequency of assessments had been removed from the items requiring consensus [EDU/PISA/GB(2016)11/REV1]. In the light of the discussions that followed, and considering the importance of reaching mutual agreement on fundamental issues in OECD bodies, the PGB agreed to maintain the frequency of the assessment as an item requiring consensus.

   In the proposed revised PISA mandate (see Annex) approved by the PGB in October 2016, the main change from the current mandate is the removal of the reference to the triennial cycle of the assessments. The other principal changes reflect the Revised Resolution of the Council on Partnerships in OECD Bodies [C(2012)100/REV1/FINAL] in terms of the references and in harmonising the terminology used.

   In accordance with Rule 21 c) of the Rules of Procedure, the PGB, when reviewing the Programme mandate, also confirmed that its current substructure with two subsidiary bodies, the PISA Strategic Development Group and the PISA Analysis and Dissemination Group, remain relevant and adequate in view of the scope and work of the Programme going forward. The Strategic Development Group (SDG) will continue to advise the PISA Governing Board on the establishment of a broader analytic agenda for PISA, its strategic design, and development. The PISA Analysis and Dissemination Group will continue to seek to establish a broader framework for PISA research and analysis, building international capacity in order to identify opportunities and challenges arising from the production of PISA Thematic Reports and other research and analysis outputs, and establish a broad community of policy makers, stakeholders and academics interested in PISA research and analysis.

Proposed Action

   In the light of the preceding, the Secretary-General invites the Council to adopt the following draft conclusions:


a)noted document C(2016)92;

b)adopted the draft Resolution of the Council renewing and revising the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) as set out in the Annex to document C(2016)92, which will enter into force on 1 January 2017.


DRAFT resolution OF THE COUNCIL renewing AND REVISING THE PROGRAMME for international student assessment (PISA)


Having regard to the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
of 14 December 1960;

Having regard to the Rules of Procedure of the Organisation;

Having regard to the Financial Regulations of the Organisation;

Having regard to the Revised Resolution of the Council on Partnerships in OECD Bodies [C(2012)100/REV1/FINAL];

Having regard to the Decision of the Council of 26 September 1997 to establish
a Decentralised Programme for Producing Indicators on Student Achievement on a Regular Basis [C(97)176/FINAL], now referred to as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA),
as last renewed by Council on 22 November 2011 [C(2011)92/REV2 and C(2011)92/REV2/CORR1,
Annex and C/M(2011)19, Item 204];

Having regard to the proposed renewal of the Programme for International Student Assessment and the mandate of its Governing Board [C(2016)92];

Considering that Members and Participants participating in the Programme for International Student Assessment wish to pursue their co-operation;


A.   The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is renewed as follows:

Mission and objectives

   The work of PISA reflects and complements the priorities of the OECD in promoting sustainable development and social cohesion through good governance. The programme contributes to supporting participating Members and Partners in achieving high quality lifelong learning for all that contributes
to personal development, sustainable economic growth and social cohesion.

   The objective of PISA is to support participating Members and Partners in achieving high quality lifelong learning by improving the quality of learning outcomes, increasing equity in learning opportunities, and enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of educational processes and the impact of learning outcomes. The Programme will address this objective by providing progressively enhanced comparative policy insights through the implementation and analysis of internationally standardised assessments of student learning outcomes up to the end of compulsory education.


   Participation in PISA is open to all OECD Members.

   Invitations to and participation of non-Members in PISA with Associate status in the
PISA Governing Board (“PGB”) will be approved by the Council following a recommendation of the PGB. Other non-Members may participate in the PISA survey and may be invited by the PGB as Participants in the PGB. Participant fees, if any, shall be determined by the Secretariat of PISA.

Governing Board

   The PGB shall be concerned with all matters in the field of competence of
the Programme including those of any subsidiary bodies. Having regard to the mandate of the
Education Policy Committee (EDPC), the PGB, in particular:

a)Determines the policy priorities for PISA and oversees adherence to these priorities
during implementation. This includes the setting of priorities and standards for data development, analysis and reporting as well as the determination of the scope of work that will then form
the basis for the implementation of PISA;

b)Ensures compliance with the policy objectives and design parameters at milestones during implementation;

c)Develops and approves its work programme and budget and the floor contribution for the calculation of the scale of contributions, taking into account the medium-term strategy
developed by the EDPC;

d)Prioritises its activities and outputs in consultation with the EDPC;

e)Monitors the quality and timeliness of output results, activities and projects;

f)Disseminates its policy advice, analysis, research and data to a wide range of Members and Partners participating in PISA;

g)Evaluates the outcomes of the work;

h)Seeks the guidance of the EDPC for recommendations with major policy implications and
for decisions to launch major new activities with significant financial implications
for OECD Members.

   Representatives on the PGB are deemed to speak on behalf of the government that they represent. Governments should, whenever possible, appoint representatives to the PGB who are knowledgeable about large-scale student assessments and their interface with educational policy and practice.

   The Chair and Vice-Chairs of the PGB will be designated for a one year period with the understanding that this can be renewed at least twice.

   The Chair or a Vice‑Chair of the EDPC, the Governing Board of the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation, the Teaching and Learning International Survey Governing Board,
and the Board of Participating Countries for the Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies may attend meetings of the PGB, ex officio.

   In accordance with Rule 4 of the OECD Rules of Procedure, the PGB may organise its meetings or meeting of its subsidiary bodies outside OECD Headquarters. The host will accept responsibility for additional direct and indirect expenditures related to the meeting so that it is no more expensive for
the Organisation than it would have been if held at OECD Headquarters, except if specific circumstances justify a different approach.

   The PGB shall seek the consensus in its decisions. If unable to reach consensus, the matter will be brought to a vote and will be decided by a two-thirds majority of the PGB. Notwithstanding this provision, decisions relating to the operation of the PGB, the elements to be included in calculating the floor contribution for the scale of contributions, changes to project design and structure as well as the frequency of successive PISA surveys and matters related to the participation by non-Members will be adopted by consensus.

Budget of the Programme

   The programme of work and budget of the Programme and the scale of contributions shall be examined by the Budget Committee which shall address its comments to the PGB and shall refer to the Council any question which cannot be settled by agreement with the PGB. The budget shall be deemed to be adopted at the end of this procedure.

   The expenditure of PISA shall be charged against the appropriations authorised for it under Part II of the Budget of the Organisation.

   The scale of contributions applicable to Members and Associates will be composed of:

a floor contribution, to be determined by the PGB, and

the remainder of costs to be assigned to Members and Associates on the basis of the
OECD principles and rules for determining the scales of contributions by Members other than for Part I of the Budget of the Organisation,[1] using as input statistics the national income data and exchange rates used in the calculation of scales for the previous year, subject to the following:

   Each Member and Associate’s contribution will be determined by the previous year’s contribution in real terms plus an adjusted difference representing the difference between their contribution for the current year as calculated in accordance with the previous paragraph and the previous year’s inflation adjusted contribution, adjusted so that:

a)no Member’s or Associate’s contribution increases or decreases by reference to their contribution in the previous year by more than 5% in real terms, and

b)all Members and Associates share the same percentage in the difference between their contribution for the current year as calculated in accordance with the previous paragraph and the previous year’s contribution in real terms.

   Appropriations for which no commitment has been entered into before the
end of the Financial Year for which they were appropriated, as well as any surplus income,
shall be automatically carried forward to the budget of PISA for the ensuing year by decision
of the Secretary‑General, notwithstanding the provisions of Regulation 10 of the Financial Regulations
of the Organisation.

Relationship with other bodies

   The PGB shall maintain close working relationships with other relevant bodies
of the Organisation working on issues related to educational assessment and outcomes.

   The PGB shall co-operate with other international and regional organisations active in
its field of competence.

   The PGB may consult with non-governmental bodies as and when necessary.


   This Resolution shall remain in force until 31 December 2021.



[1] In the event of a withdrawal of a Member or Associate from PISA, the limit on the year on year increase of Member and Associate contributions will not apply in the year in which that country is first removed from the calculation of the scale of contributions.
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