FOA Certification - Work-to-Cert
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FOA Certifications
 techs have been certified by The FOA


FOA certifications

More On FOA Certifications
First Level

Specialist Certifications
CFOS Specialist Certifications

KSAs for CFOT and all Fiber Optics

FOA Approved Training Programs

FOA's "Work to Cert" Direct Certification Program  

Online Study Guides and References
Study Guides for FOA Certifications
FOA Online Reference Textbook   particularly the section Understanding Fiber Optics, the Basics
FOA Installation Tech Bulletin

FOA First-Level Certification (CFOT, CPCT) Application (new, experienced technicians only, no students)  (PDF)   (DOC)   
Specialist Application (current FOA member with appropriate experience) (PDF)  (DOC)

FOA Renewal Policy  
Renewal Application(pdf)
Renewal Online  

New Schools
Application information for New Schools
Curriculum requirements For Training Program Approval


FOA Reference Books (Available Printed or eBooks)
The fiber book is also available in Spanish and French.

FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optics book  FOA Reference Guide to Premises Cablng book  FOA Reference Guide to OSP Fiber Optics book
  FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optics book FOA Text in French
FOA Reference Guide to OSP Fiber Optics book FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optics Design book  FOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optics Testing bookFOA Reference Guide to Fiber Optic OSP Construction book

Lennie's and Uncle Ted's Guides are also not available as free iBooks on iTunes.
Lennie Lightwave's Guide To Fiber Optics   Uncle Ted's Guide to Premises Cablling
Click on any of the books to learn more.


It's now CFOT®  The FOA CFOT® (Certified Fiber Optic Technician) is now a registered trademark.  


Directions For Direct FOA Certification – The “Work to Cert” Program

FOA’s “Work To Cert” Program

If you meet FOA’s requirements for experience and knowledge, you can take FOA certification directly. To qualify for direct certification, you must follow these 5 steps in the application and testing process:

The application process is as follows:
1. Verify your experience
2. Verify your knowledge
3. Submit an application
4. Set up a proctor and time for your exam
5. Take the exam

Please note: you should read these directions carefully as they will simplify the process.

Also, this process is available in English only – you must have adequate English language skills to participate in this program

Step 1. Verify Your Experience

Applicants are expected to review the FOA requirements and verify that their experience meets FOA requirements themselves before applying. Prepare a proper resume (CV) as it will be required when submitting an application.

You must have at least 2 years experience working in a technical field that involves fiber optics. The requirement is to have been involved with fiber optics for a period of time, not in a particular task.

We expect the work to be in the following technical areas: telecommunications, Internet, CATV, IT/LANs/Data Centers or any of the many fields that use fiber for communications like the oil and gas industry, industrial controls, intelligent highways, security, military or government services, etc.

We expect the work to be in the following types of job categories: design, install, test, manage, operate, maintain and repair fiber optic networks or supervise technical workers.
About the only job functions we do not recognize for work experience and certify are general management, marketing or sales.

Installation techs would qualify, including cable pullers, splicers or test techs from telco outside plant work, premises cabling techs who make field terminations, or FTTH techs who mainly install prefab cabling systems. We also have techs and engineers working in companies manufacturing fiber optic components.

You should also include other training you have received, including training by manufacturers or other schools or training organizations.

Document all this experience in your resume (CV) which will be submitted to the FOA for review.

Step 2. Verify Your Knowledge

Before sending your application for taking the online FOA exam, you need to verify your knowledge. For that reason, you should use the FOA's web-based training site Fiber U.

Please review the lessons in the Fiber U "Basics of Fiber Optics" course.

At the end of each lesson there is a quiz for you to test your comprehension. When you take the quiz online, it will grade your answers and give you the correct answers along with an explanation. After you check your answers, return to the study materials to find out why you missed any questions.

Once you are confident of your knowledge, you are required to verify it to the FOA by taking the Fiber U “Basics of Fiber Optics” Certificate of Completion exam. The exam costs $20US and the results will be submitted to the FOA automatically. You will get a Fiber U Certificate of Completion in pdf format, which you must also submit as part of your application to take the FOA CFOT Certification.

Details on this exam are here.

Step 3. Submit an application for the FOA CFOT online certification exam

Fill out the application for the CFOT online certification exam and submit with your resume showing 2 years of acceptable experience and a copy of your Fiber U Certificate of Completion. 

FOA First-Level Certification (CFOT) Application  (PDF)   (DOC)  

As part of the application, you must provide the name of a proctor.  The proctor is a person who agrees to supervise you while you take the online FOA CFOT exam and verify that you have taken the exam without assistance from other people or referring to a text. This person can be a manager in your company or a teacher you know - does not have to be a fiber optic teacher.  It can also be a local librarian.

If your application is accepted, we will email to let you know.  The fee for this is exam is $60US and you will pay it on the day of the exam. Payment is made using a credit card or PayPal as part of signing in to take the exam. 

Step 4. Set up a proctor and time for your exam

You must arrange with your proctor a date for the CFOT exam and email this date to   We will then provide the directions and a link to the exam – you must take the exam on the date you submit to the FOA.  If you open the file before this date, the test is voided, your application is rejected and the test fee is not refundable.

If for some reason, you or the proctor cannot meet at the designated time or place, DO NOT take the exam.  Contact the FOA office – - to reschedule the exam date.

The FOA certification exam is a closed-book, timed exam. The proctor will verify you took the exam alone without assistance. The test will record the time you start the exam and limits your time available to take the exam. Before the day of the test, please review the directions again.

5. Take the exam

On the test date, under the supervision of your proctor, log in to take the exam. You will fill in the required information (similar to the
certificate of Completion exam) and make payment for the exam ($60US by credit card or PayPal.)

Your test results will automatically be sent to the FOA. If you pass, you will immediately receive a FOA Certificate to verify your certification.  Your CFOT card will be sent to you if you live in the US or Canada and emailed to you in all other countries.



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