FREE agency compensation picks are here to stay for at least another off-season, with the AFL ruling out any changes before the next collective bargaining agreement is reached.

The League's compensation model has drawn criticism from some quarters, with many believing draft picks given to clubs losing free agents shouldn't be tied to that club's ladder position.

But the AFL will stick with its current structure this year, with free agency rules, eligibility and compensation likely to be factored into this year's CBA discussions with the AFL Players' Association and clubs.

Club and League officials have raised the idea of assigning draft selections to 'bands' instead of ladder positions as an alternative to giving out picks at the top of the draft.

For instance, when unrestricted free agent James Frawley left Melbourne to join Hawthorn in 2014, the Demons were awarded a first-round compensation pick for the departing backman because of the terms of his lucrative contract.

The pick came immediately after the Demons' first selection (No.2 at the NAB AFL Draft), so gave them a hold on picks two and three, which they used on midfielders Christian Petracca and Angus Brayshaw.

But many clubs feel the early section of the draft should be kept free of compensation picks to protect the bottom-placed teams' access to top talent.

They have raised the concept of mid-round bands replacing picks assigned to ladder positions, which in the case of Frawley would see the Demons given pick 10 for losing him to the Hawks.

The Players' Association originally resisted the introduction of compensation picks when free agency was introduced, but the system has encouraged more player movement in recent years.

The free agency compensation system has divided opinions since its first season in 2012, when Hawthorn received pick 66 for losing free agent Clinton Young to Collingwood. 

The Hawks' then football manager Mark Evans, who is now the AFL's football operations manager, said the club felt it had been "pick-pocketed".

"I don't know if anyone could look you in the eye and say this is a just system," Evans said at the time.

Meanwhile, the League won't be introducing an 'opt-out' clause for players in northern academies who don't want to be tied to their attached clubs.

The AFL has looked at whether the teenage prospects could have the option of leaving their zone academy at a certain age before they become draft eligible if they would prefer to enter the open national draft.

But it has decided that prospects, even if they join an academy aged 12 or 13, must agree to join the nominating club if it wants to draft them once they are 18.

Clubs believe highly rated prospects could be enticed out of their academies by rivals if there was an opt-out rider added to the academy sign-up process.

The same rules are likely to apply to players in multicultural and indigenous zone academies, which are likely to come into effect next year. All Victorian, West Australian and South Australian clubs have been allocated development regions to develop academies.

It is different for father-son prospects, who can choose to nominate to their eligible father's club or be up for grabs with all clubs in an open pool.