These programs will support circus riggers to meet the critical need of the Victorian sector for qualified and knowledgeable riggers, and work to improve safety in circus rigging across Australia. This follows TNA’s research highlighting rigger shortages and under-qualification.

rigging ticket upgrade program

This program will cover cost of rigging ticket upgrades for up to 30 circus riggers over two years.

In TNA's 2020 Rigging Report, the majority of respondents said that when they are employing a circus rigger they need someone with an Advanced ticket. However, the report also showed that less than half of people who worked as riggers had an Advanced Rigging Ticket.

The focus of this program is to increase the overall level of accreditation of circus riggers, rather than increasing numbers of junior/inexperienced riggers. Detailed selection criteria will be released in early 2023, but the program will broadly target:

  • experienced riggers who are upgrading their ticket level, and/or
  • professional circus artists who have rigging skills and knowledge but lack accreditation.

This program will run once per year in 2023 and 2024, and riggers may be offered more than one ticket over the two years.

More details to come in late Jan, with applications opening in February.


In TNA's 2020 Rigging Report, of 35 respondents who identified themselves as riggers, only two identified as LGBTIQ+ (6%), and none identified as either Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Cultural and Linguistically Diverse, Disabled, or based regionally. This program recognises that the cohort of circus riggers is even less diverse than the broader CaPT sector and aims to provide a pathway for diverse riggers to enter the workforce.

Two scholarships will be offered for people from underrepresented communities to undertake 12 months of professional development and training as new riggers. These scholarships will include:

  • Certificate III in Rigging (incl. Basic & Intermediate Rigging tickets and five additional High Risk Work licences)
  • Training days will be paid, with dedicated budget to ensure no applicants are precluded from participating due to access & equity barriers
  • Tailored support from TNA including brokering relationships with circus rigging elders and mentors

More information about this program will be announced in 2023, with applications opening mid-2023.


Through TNA's ongoing consultation and following the 2020 Rigging Report, it is clear that there are key pressure-points currently impacting the CaPT sector with regard to rigging and safety. These include:

  • Lack of dedicated circus-rigging training:
    • 94% think there is a need for a circus industry-based certificate to demonstrate that a Rigger has circus-based competency
    • 89% of all respondents feel that there is currently a lack of trained circus-specific riggers
    • 83% of riggers would like to undertake industry-specific training
  • Lack of clarity, consistency and accountability in circus safety:
    • Survey responses indicate a clear demand for a CaPT-specific, defined, industry standard for rigging and safety.  
    • However, there are concerns as to who would be the provider of such a certification, and how the monitoring of this industry standard would happen.

Over 2023-24, TNA's Rigging Program Producer will consult with sector experts and industry bodies to:

  • Drive establishment of a circus-specific training course
  • Set up an Australian Circus Riggers Network & Circus Riggers Database
  • Investigate development of National Standards for Circus Rigging & Safety