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New Compass Adjuster Training Course in Australia


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 four (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 competencies were developed with the assistance of 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 works and liaises with the ship's master and also how to efficiently use the time on board during the adjustment.

There are many overseas mariners wishing to study compass compensation as few countries provide this type of course. 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 be included because an approved course is not available in either country.

Students are currently able to study the Limited Course at:

1. Newcastle TAFE college in NSW. The Course structure and duration of ​each module is outlined in their initial flyer to the Marine Community. Click the pdf icon to view the information. The instructor and examiner for both the Limited and Unlimited courses in Newcastleis Capt. Malcolm Goodfellow and his contact is through the TAFE college or




As more Registered Training Organisations (RTO's) are approved to provide the Limited and Unlimited courses under the Australians Qualifications Framework (AQF), updates will be provided. 


Practical assessments:

Students who have successfully passed their theory examinations will be required to undertake a number of practical adjustments. An accredited examiner will assess the student's competence during the adjustment and these services may be provided by the RTO delivering the course but should a student find it necessary to complete the adjustments in another State, a qualified instructor and examiner with a RTO will need to be organised - additional fees may apply.











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