The Literacy and Numeracy components of PILNA are based on the Regional Benchmarks for Literacy and Numeracy which were developed collaboratively in 2006 by SPBEA (now EQAP), UNESCO, UNICEF and the Heads of Education Systems or their representatives from 15 countries in the Pacific.
The literacy and numeracy benchmarks were derived from the curriculum skill components, elements and learning outcomes that were determined to be common across the national English and Mathematics curricula in the 15 countries.
In 2007, at the Forum Education Ministers (FEdMM), the benchmark standards were endorsed by the Ministers as the Regional Benchmark for Literacy, Numeracy for Years 2, 4, 6 and 8 for the Pacific.
Apart from the benchmarks in literacy and numeracy, the benchmarks for life-skills was also endorsed in 2007. The 2006 Regional Benchmarks were used as the basis for the 2012 and 2015 PILNA cycles.
Since 2006, revisions have been made to primary curricula in some countries and it was imperative that Pacific countries come together again to review the Regional Benchmarks before the next cycle of PILNA.