About Compass

Compass is an online tool to help young people in Scotland, their parents and carers, and the professionals who support them, with the transition to young adult life.

There are three versions – one for young people, one for parents and carers of young people with additional support needs, and one for professionals and practitioners.

Compass is for young people
Compass is for parents and carers

Compass can help with:

  • Planning: Helps everyone work out what’s important and be more certain about their choices.
  • Information: Links to information about topics that matter.
  • Control: Helps people share their views about decisions that affect them, and stay on track.
  • Feedback: Provides an anonymous way to tell people what is working and what could be better.


You can use Compass on any device connected to the internet – smartphone, tablet, iPad or laptop.

Below are resources to help you get started, tips and answers to frequently asked questions.

Need some help to get started?

Check our videos and FAQs below

For young people

How to use Compass

About Compass – MAKAton

Instructions for young people

Click image to download PDF

How to sign in to Compass

How to find information on topics that matter to you

How to change things in your account

How to select topics that matter to you

How to leave feedback

For parents and carers

Getting started

Setting up an account on the version for parents and carers

Instructions for parents and carers

Click image to download PDF


Compass is for young people preparing for change, and for parents and carers of young people aged 14-26 who have additional support needs of any kind, including learning disabilities, physical or mental health difficulties, autism, complex or profound disabilities, and experience of care (either as a young carer or a care experienced young person).

There is also a version of Compass for professionals and practitioners who are supporting young people and their families through the transition to young adult life.

Definitely not!

Transition planning meetings should still happen and anyone involved in supporting young people and families should still be providing information and support.

But Compass helps everyone understand what is involved, explore options and work out their priorities. That way everyone can feel more confident about their part in the process and have a better chance of achieving the right outcomes for each individual family.

Compass has been developed in close partnership with young people, parents and carers, and professionals to make sure it is relevant and useful. It has been tested with young people, parents and carers to make it the best it can be.

The information is specific to Scotland and we work hard to ensure it is as up to date as possible. However ARC Scotland cannot be responsible for the content of external websites and information sources.

Although Compass doesn’t point you to services that are specific to your area, you can get this information from social services, carers’ organisations and other support groups where you live.

Compass can be helpful no matter what a young person’s needs might be. The information it provides is specific to each user and based on their answers to the questions it asks, so each user may have a different pathway and different things to explore.

Compass has been developed in partnership with young people, parents and carers, and professionals to make sure the information is relevant and useful.

We’re working hard to make Compass as accessible as possible, and we’ve created resources to help people get started. But some people may still need extra help to use it most effectively.

The young people’s version helps young people work out what matters to them, and share their views with others. It gives them important information aimed specifically at them, and is likely to be most useful during the time leading up to transition.

The version for parents and carers is intended to be used before, during and after the move into adult services, to support the transition process and keep things on track. It provides tailored information at the relevant time and reminders of key actions through transition and beyond.

CompassPro is designed to help professionals and practitioners provide the best support possible to each young person and their family. It enables a better understanding of statutory duties, and links to information that can be tailored to each family’s needs.

Yes, all three versions of Compass are useful whether a young person is in school or not.

Compass provides information and guidance to explore options, identify key actions and plan next steps, whatever a young person’s situation.

Parents and carers can add more young people once they have set up their account. 

We suggest setting up the account based on the young person who is closest to leaving school. You can then add further young people as necessary.

You are asked to give each young person a name, which can be a nickname or anything else you want to use to identify them. This will appear at the top of your screen in Compass to remind you which young person’s guidance you are looking at.

Compass for young people and CompassPro do not have this feature.