The last few decades have seen an increased awareness of human capital as one of the driving forces in economic development. This heightened interest in education and learning has been accompanied by a greater need to monitor and assess the stock of human capital. Since the 1990’s several large-scale international surveys have been undertaken to measure skills. Most skills research focussed on aspects in the cognitive domain such as literacy and numeracy skills. Not withstanding the importance of these skills for dealing with the complexities of today’s world, they nevertheless represent only a fraction of the skills and competencies that are assumed to be ‘key’. In a way we could say that skills researchers find themselves confronted by the limitations of classical methods of assessing skills, such as large scale testing. In this paper we have developed a plea for using selfassessments as a complementary tool to assess skills. We give an overview of different methods that are being used to assess the stock of skills and the skills required by employers. Finally we discuss the advantages as well as some of the problems arising in the use of self-assessment.