MAR Compass Adjuster


A magnetic compass is the only instrument on vessels that does not rely on any electrical source for the vessels heading attitude. In the event of failure of navigation instruments, the ships magnetic compass will allow navigation to the next safe harbour or port. When installed properly, a good compass serves as a reliable, simple tool for setting and keeping a ship’s course.

Shipping companies and vessel operators are required to maintain and manage the performance of ship magnetic compasses to ensure that they remain within acceptable safety limits of deviation. Failure to maintain a magnetic compass in good working condition or to monitor deviations may result in a vessel being delayed or detained and potentially the vessel owner and/or master being prosecuted. If deviations are greater than the acceptable safety limits, a qualified compass adjuster or master of a vessel is required to adjust the compass.

International Marine Orders (IMO) set the qualification standards for masters, officers and watch personnel on seagoing merchant ships, and mandate the requirement for Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) to ensure Australian seafarers have the required skills and knowledge to operate safely and in compliance with the International Convention for the requirements of compass adjusters and the corresponding Australian regulatory requirements.

The Maritime Industry Reference Committee (IRC) proposed this project to develop a new Compass Adjuster Skill Set and one new Unit of Competency in response to AMSA regulatory requirements. The project will enable seafarers to gain AMSA certification required for Compass Adjusters. Throughout the project, broad consultation with AMSA will be undertaken to ensure that all required skills and knowledge needs are included within the proposed Skill Set.


The Maritime IRC will have oversight of this project, which will be facilitated by Australian Industry Standards (AIS) in consultation with industry stakeholders. A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) will be formed for this project.

Regular updates will be posted on this page throughout the life of the project.

If you have any questions about this project, please contact Industry Manager Klausch Schmidt.

Klausch Schmidt
Industry Manager

Project Deliverables

The project will develop one new Skill Set and one new Unit of Competency that includes mandated training requirements described within AMSA Marine Order 27 (Safety of navigation and radio equipment).

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