The Australian Compass Adjusters Association official website


The Australian Compass Adjusters Association is the peak professional body for Marine Compass Adjusters in Australia. The Association engages with and advises the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) on matters of Regulation, Standards and Qualifications.

In order for Compass Adjusters to be accredited and listed on this website as a Member of the Association, they must meet the stringent requirements determined by the Association for admission.

The Association became an incorporated body in 2016 and has 32 founding members from all states and territories of Australia and one member residing in Hong Kong. This group of individuals are serving or retired Master Mariners, Marine Pilots, Marine Surveyors, Educators or in private enterprise associated with providing services to the marine industry. Two of our younger members do not come to us as seafarer but as young professionals from other disciplines who were lucky enough to have been brought up in the an environment where seafaring, compass adjustment and the odd compass hanging from the ceiling was not uncommon.


The normal route of the compass adjuster in Australia had been, until 2012, via the hawse-pipe and other lowly tripan-like positions which lead to the qualification of Masters FG or Extra Masters and then to continue with a rigorous course of study and practical compass adjusting before being Licensed.


Associations members conferred and advised AMSA in early 2016, principally in relation to the new Marine Orders 27 and its effect on the role of the compass adjuster, the definition of such a person and a more flexible approach to the requirements for a compass adjustments on Domestic Commercial Vessels under the NSCV Code.

Association members are talented entrepreneurs, compass repairers, educators all prepared to climb or descend pilot ladders in all weathers, 24 hours a day to adjust the magnetic compasses of our domestic fleet of fishing and trading vessels and the international flagged vessels trading to our shores.


Compass Adjusting in Australia has maintained a very high standard of knowledge through the courses of study and licensing by AMSA and produced a group of adjusters who are dedicated, professional and passionate about their skills and ability to get the job done. This standard of knowledge and expertise can only survive in Australia with the membership of our Association being committed to ensuring that it not only has input and conversation with the National Regulator, but that a well structured pathway is available for those wishing to study the science, art and practice of the "compass adjuster".

New Compass Adjuster Training Course in Australia - posted 19/03/2021

The Australian Industry Standards (AIS) has developed a new training package for 2 levels of compass adjuster, Limited and Unlimited. This training package received its final approval on 25th January 2021 which means that any Registered Training Organization (RTO) in Australia can deliver the course provided there is a qualified trainer on staff.

The AIS technical advisory committed (TAC) included 4 ACAA members to guide and advise the AIS through the ins-and-outs of the technical subjects and topics required for each level. These new competencies were developed with the assistance of AMSA, the National Regulator. The technical  committee was able to sign off on the training package in July 2020 and from there it moved through a series of interested parties and government education bodies.


The training package at a glance

A flow chart was developed by ACAA to make the training package and units of competencies easier to follow and decipher.


Links to the Units of Competency and the Skills Set for the Limited and Unlimited levels of the compass adjuster qualifications are given as follows:







The course has quite a focus on practical training because the theory has to be supported with a good level of understanding of how the process works onboard a vessel, including pre-adjustment checks, how the compass adjuster has to work with the ship's master, and also to efficiently use the time on board during the swing.

There are many inquiries from overseas mariners wishing to study compass compensation but one stumbling block will be their ability to do the practical part of the course in Australia. It appears that a RTO in Australia may not be able to enroll an overseas student if the practicals cannot be successfully completed. This makes sense because these inquiries come from the Caribbean, Philippines and South Africa. Our closest neighbors, New Zealand and PNG will most probably be included if an approved course is not available in that country.


An update on the delivery of the courses will be made from time-to-time, but it appears that there are at least 4 states and territories which can deliver the courses - Darwin NT, Cairns Q'ld, Newcastle NSW and Hobart Tas.