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FOA Specialist Certifications
 
For those wanting to learn more about specialized fiber optic applications or who wish to develop greater skills in the process of fiber optic installation, FOA offers specialist training and certifications.

FOA specialist training and certifications are available in three categories, Skills-based, Applications-based and
Fiber optic network design.
Note: Techs doing fiber installation for any particular application should have a CFOT to be qualified for doing installation work. The CFOT is the basic certification required for all installation personnel.


Click on any specialist certification for more details.

Skills-Based Specialist Certifications For Techs Involved With Fiber Optic Installation
Outside Plant Installation (CFOS/O)
Termination (Connectors) (CFOS/C)
Splicing (CFOS/S)
Testing (CFOS/T)
Fiber Characterization (CD, PMD, SA) (CFOS/FC)

Applications-Based
Specialist Certifications For Users, Designers, Contractors and Installers
Fiber To The Home/Curb/etc. (FTTx) (CFOS/H)
Optical LANs (OLANs) (CFOS/L)
Fiber For Wireless (CFOS/W)
Fiber To The Antenna (FTTA) (CFOS/A)
Data Center Cabling (CFOS/DC
Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) (CFOS/DAS)


Fiber Optic Network Design (CFOS/D


FOA specialist certifications are available two ways -

All FOA CFOS Certifications Require:

The FOA requirements and exams are based on FOA
KSAs. Studying may be done by taking approved training, reading the FOA textbooks or the FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide or self-study programs on Fiber U.

If you are already a CFOT or CPCT interested in specialist certifications, you should keep records of your field experience qualifying for FOA specialist certifications.

The FOA schools listing includes schools offering FOA specialist classes.

If you wish to apply for certification directly based on your industry experience, read the information on the FOA "
Work-To-Cert" program below on taking the specialist certification exams.

If you are a current CFOT or CPCT, you do not get a new CFOT number when you get a specialist certification. Upon completion of the requirements, you will receive a new FOA ID Card with your new certifications listed. Your certification number and expiration data will not change.



Skills-Based Specialist Certifications For Techs Involved With Fiber Optic Installation
Skills-based certifications are those involving hands-on process related to the design and installation of fiber optic networks such as outside plant (OSP) installation, splicing, termination and testing. Skills-based certifications require a CFOT or CPCT as a prerequisite for both classes at a FOA-Approved school or application for direct certification.



CFOS/O:  OSP
Installation  (Skills-based)

OSP fiber optic installation

CFOS/O - Certified Fiber Optic Specialist, Outside Plant - is the FOA certification for technicians installing outside plant (OSP) fiber optic cable plants and communications systems. It expands on the CFOT KSAs to include OSP construction and installation of aerial and underground cable plants. The skills focus includes installing and cable preparation of OSP cables, fusion splicing for concatenation and termination and testing with a focus on OTDRs.


Prerequisites: CFOT

What To Expect In Training Programs For OSP Specialist Certification
To qualify for Certified Fiber Optic Specialist/OSP certification, a specialist training program will cover at least the following topics:


Typical Field Experience For Direct OSP Specialist Certification
To qualify for the CFOS/O certification, a CFOT plus two years of field experience are required, including documented experience installing and testing OSP fiber optic networks. Training by employers, manufacturers or vendors of cabling products will be recognized as part of the experience requirements.
Field experience installing and testing OSP fiber optic networks must include the following:


What To Study To Prepare For The Exam
For preparation for the CFOS/O course or direct exam, you should take the Fiber U Outside Plant Fiber Optics self-study course or read the FOA textbook.

FOA Reference Guide To OSP Fiber Optics
FOA Reference Guide To Outside Plant Fiber Optics


More information on the CFOS/O certification .


CFOS/C: Connectors/Termination (Skills-based)

installing fiber optic connectors

CFOS/C - Certified Fiber Optic Specialist, Connectors - is the FOA certification for technicians terminating optical fibers with connectors. The focus of this certification has primarily been the direct attachment of connectors to fibers using adhesive/polish methods and the techniques required for making proper multimode and singlemode terminations. These techniques are appropriate for manufacturing technicians involved in factories terminating cables for patchcords and prefab cabling systems as well as those techs who field terminate multimode fiber for premises applications. With the advent of prepolished/splice connectors and fusion splice-on connectors (SOCs) for field terminations, these have been included in the certification. 

Prerequisites: CFOT or CPCT

What To Expect In Training Programs For Connectors Specialist Certification
FOA-Approved training for Certified Fiber Optic Specialist/Connectors certification meets the following requirements:

Typical Field Experience For Direct Connectors Specialist Certification
To qualify for the CFOS/C certification, the field, or factory installation experience needs to meet the following requirements:
The applicant must provide data supporting their experience and a recommendation from a client or customer.



What To Study To Prepare For The Exam
For preparation for the CFOS/C course or direct exam, you should take the Fiber U Basic Fiber Optic Skills Lab self-study course, Lesson 5: Termination.



CFOS/S: Splicing (Skills-based)
 
splicing fiber optics

CFOS/S - Certified Fiber Optic Specialist, Splicing - is the FOA certification for technicians splicing primarily outside plant (OSP) fiber optic cable plants for concatenation and termination. The skills focus includes cable preparation of numerous cables, fusion splicing fibers, placing splices in splice trays and then placing trays in splice closures. Splice testing with an OTDR is also covered.
Prerequisites: CFOT

What To Expect In Training Programs For Splicing Specialist Certification
FOA-Approved training for Certified Fiber Optic Specialist/Splicing certification meets the following requirements:
 
Typical Field Experience For Direct Splicing Specialist Certification
To qualify for the CFOS/S certification, the field splicing experience needs to meet the following requirements:


What To Study To Prepare For The Exam
For preparation for the CFOS/S course or direct exam, you should take the Fiber U Basic Fiber Optic Skills Lab self-study course, Lesson 4: Splicing.



CFOS/T: Testing (Skills-based)
 
testing fiber optics

CFOS/T - Certified Fiber Optic Specialist, Testing - is the FOA certification for technicians testing fiber optic cable plants and communications systems. This is a specialist application certification is intended for high level technicians involved in the testing of fiber optic components, cable plants during and after installation and troubleshooting of fiber networks. The KSAs for CFOS/T cover fiber optic testing from concept to completion, including visual inspection and cleaning, visual tracing and fault location, optical power measurement, insertion loss testing and OTDR testing. The requirements also include a familiarity with fiber characterization for long distance high speed networks but that is covered in another specialist certification.


Prerequisites: CFOT


What To Expect In Training Programs For Testing Specialist Certification
FOA-Approved training for Certified Fiber Optic Specialist/Testing certification meets the following requirements:

Typical Field Experience For Direct Testing  Specialist Certification Based On Field Experience
To qualify for the CFOS/T certification, the field testing experience needs to meet the following requirements:

What To Study To Prepare For The Exam
For preparation for the CFOS/T course or direct exam, you should take the Fiber U Fiber Optic Testing self-study course or read the FOA textbook.

 or read the FOA textbook.

The FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optic Testing  



CFOS/FC: Fiber Characterization (Skills-based)

Fiber characaterization

This is a specialist certification covering fiber optic testing for the purposes of characterizing long distance fibers used in very high speed WDM networks. It is intended for technicians involved in the design, installation or testing of fiber networks.

Prerequisites: CFOT, CFOS/T recommended


What To Expect In Training Programs For Fiber Characterization Specialist Certification
FOA-Approved training for Certified Fiber Optic Specialist/Fiber Characterization certification meets the following requirements:

Typical Field Experience For Direct Fiber Characterization Specialist Certification Based On Field Experience
To qualify for the CFOS/FC certification, the field testing experience needs to meet the following requirements for field techs:

What To Study To Prepare For The Exam
For preparation for the CFOS/FC course or direct exam, you should take the Fiber U Fiber Optic Testing self-study course and the material on fiber characterization on the FOA Online Guide or read the FOA textbook.

 or read the FOA textbook.

The FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optic Testing  






CFOS/D:
Fiber Optic Network Design

Fiber optic network design

CFOS/D – Certified Fiber Optic Specialist, Design - is the FOA certification for designers of fiber optic communications systems. This is a specialist application certification is intended for technicians involved in the planning, design and management of installation of fiber networks. The KSAs for CFOS/D cover fiber optic network design from concept to completion.

This is a specialist application certification covering fiber optic network design intended for network owners, IT personnel, facilities managers, network designers, estimators or technicians involved in the design or installation of fiber networks. This course is especially recommended for network owners and planners who may not be familiar with the process of fiber optic network design as it can make their jobs easier and their projects better.
 
Prerequisites:
A review of basic fiber optic concepts and components is included in the course for those with no background in fiber optics.  A CFOT, CPCT  or equivalent basic knowledge of fiber optics and communications networks is helpful in taking this course but not required.


What To Expect In Training Programs For Design Specialist Certification
To qualify for Certified Fiber Optic Specialist/Design certification, a specialist training program must cover at least the following topics:


Typical Field Experience For  Design Specialist Certification
To qualify for the certification, two years field experience with  fiber optic networks are required, including documented experience designing fiber optic networks. Training by manufacturers or vendors of cabling products will be recognized as part of the experience requirements. The applicant must provide data supporting their experience and a recommendation from a client or customer.
Direct applicants for CFOS/D certification are expected to provide documentation of their involvement with several complete fiber optic cabling projects, including

What To Study To Prepare For The Exam
For preparation for the CFOS/D course or direct exam, you should take the Fiber U Fiber Optic Network Design self-study course or the FOA Textbook.


FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optic Network Design

FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optic Network Design


More information on the CFOS/D certification .



Applications
Specialist Certifications For Users, Designers, Contractors and Installers
Applications-based certifications are based on specific applications of fiber optics like fiber to the home (FTTH) or optical LANs (OLANs.) These application-based certifications do not require a CFOT or CPCT as a prerequisite but do require a basic knowledge of fiber optics. That basic knowledge may be obtained online, for example using the free Fiber U Basic Fiber Optics or Premises Cabling course or an introductory presentation at a school prior to the start of the actual course.

Note: Techs doing fiber installation for any particular application should have a CFOT to be qualified for doing installation work. The CFOT is the basic certification required for all installation personnel.



CFOS/H:
FTTx, Fiber To The Home/Premises/Curb/Node, etc. (Application-based)
FTTX OLT Installation

This is
an application specialist certification covering FTTx networks, cabling design and installation, which includes PON networks  (formerly FOA CFxT) It is intended for anyone interested in the application of FTTH networks.
 
Prerequisites: CFOT, CPCT
or or equivalent basic knowledge of fiber optics and communications networks. If attendees are not already familiar with or trained in optical fiber, a fiber review is available as part of the course. 

What To Expect In Training Programs For FTTX Specialist Certification
To qualify for Certified FTTX Specialist certification, a specialist training program must cover at least the following topics:


Typical Field Experience For FTTx Specialist Certification
To qualify for the FTTx certification, two years field experience designing and installing FTTx networks are required.
Training by manufacturers or vendors of cabling products will be recognized as part of the experience requirements.

The applicant must provide data supporting their experience and a recommendation from a client or customer.



What To Study To Prepare For The Exam
For preparation for the CFOS/H course or direct exam, you should take the Fiber U FTTx self-study course or read the appendix on FTTx in the FOA OSP textbook FOA Reference Guide To Outside Plant Fiber Optics Appendix B .


FOA Reference Guide To OSP Fiber Optics
FOA Reference Guide To Outside Plant Fiber Optics




CFOS/L: Optical LANs (OLANs)
(Application-based)
 
CFOS/L

This is an application specialist certification covering optical LAN (OLAN) networks, cabling design and installation, which includes P2P and PON networks used in place of traditional LAN cabling based on traditional structured cabling standards for copper/fiber networks. It is intended for anyone interested in the use of fiber optics in LANs

Prerequisites: CFOT, CPCT  or or equivalent basic knowledge of fiber optics and communications networks recommended. If attendees are not already familiar with or trained in optical fiber, a fiber review is available as part of the course.
 
What To Expect In Training Programs For OLAN Specialist Certification
To qualify for Certified Optical LAN Specialist certification, a specialist training program must cover at least the following topics:


Typical Field Experience For Direct OLAN Specialist Certification
To qualify for the certification, two years field experience designing and installing optical LAN or other optical premises networks are required.
Training by manufacturers or vendors of cabling products will be recognized as part of the experience requirements.
The applicant must provide data supporting their experience and a recommendation from a client or customer.


What To Study To Prepare For The Exam
For preparation for the CFOS/L course or direct exam, you should take the Fiber U Optical LAN (OLAN) self-study course or read the FOA textbook on premises cabling, Appendix B.

FOA Reference Guide To Premises Cabling


FOA Reference Guide To Premises Cabling Appendix B



CFOS/W: Fiber For Wireless

FOA CFOS/W

CFOS/W - Certified Fiber Optic Specialist, Fiber For Wireless - is the FOA certification for technicians installing wireless communications systems that are connected on fiber optics. This course is an application specialist course focusing on educating technicians and managers about what is involved in connecting cell site backhaul and fronthaul, antennas on cell towers, small cells, distributed antenna systems (DAS), and WiFi access points for premises, urban and rural line-of-sight WiFi networks. Skills for technicians should be learned for other certifications.

Prerequisites: CFOT, CPCT or or equivalent basic knowledge of fiber optics and communications networks. If attendees are not already familiar with or trained in optical fiber, a fiber review is available as part of the course or the student can take the basic fiber course at Fiber U.

What To Expect In Training Programs For Fiber For Wireless Specialist Certification
To qualify for Certified Fiber For Wireless Specialist certification, a specialist training program must cover at least the following topics:

Typical Field Experience For Direct CFOS/W Specialist Certification
To qualify for the certification, two years field experience designing and installing wireless fiber systems is required.
Training by manufacturers or vendors of cabling products will be recognized as part of the experience requirements.
The applicant must provide data supporting their experience and a recommendation from a client or customer.

What To Study To Prepare For The Exam
For preparation for the CFOS/W course or direct exam, you should take the Fiber U Fiber For Wireless self-study course. (Coming soon)






CFOS/A: Fiber To The Antenna (FTTA) (Application-based)

cell antennas

This is an application specialist certification which covers how fiber optics is used to connect antennas to electronics at the base of cellular telephone towers. Cell antennas on buildings, small cells and distributed antenna systems (DAS) are described also. It is intended for anyone interested in how fiber is used in cellular communications.

Prerequisites: CFOT, CPCT or or equivalent basic knowledge of fiber optics and communications networks. If attendees are not already familiar with or trained in optical fiber, a fiber review is available as part of the course.

What To Expect In Training Programs For FTTA Specialist Certification
To qualify for Certified FTTA Specialist certification, a specialist training program must cover at least the following topics:


Typical Field Experience For Direct FTTA Specialist Certification
To qualify for the certification, two years field experience designing and installing FTTA systems is required.
Training by manufacturers or vendors of cabling products will be recognized as part of the experience requirements.
The applicant must provide data supporting their experience and a recommendation from a client or customer.


What To Study To Prepare For The Exam
For preparation for the CFOS/A course or direct exam, you should take the Fiber U FTTA self-study course.


CFOS/DAS: Distributed Antenna System (DAS) Cabling (Application-based)

DAS

This is an application specialist certification which covers how fiber optics and coax cable are used to connect antennas to electronics for DAS systems in buildings, large public facilities like sports stadiums, etc. where large crowds of users need multiple antennas for proper service as well as buildings, tunnels or other locations where cell phone signals are weak. It is intended for anyone interested in private cellular and WiFi wireless networks.

Prerequisites: CFOT, CPCT or or equivalent basic knowledge of fiber optics and communications networks. If attendees are not already familiar with or trained in optical fiber, a fiber review is available as part of the course.

What To Expect In Training Programs For FTTA Specialist Certification
To qualify for Certified DAS Specialist certification, a specialist training program must cover at least the following topics:


Typical Field Experience For Direct DAS Specialist Certification
To qualify for the certification, two years field experience designing and installing DAS systems is required.
Training by manufacturers or vendors of cabling products will be recognized as part of the experience requirements.
The applicant must provide data supporting their experience and a recommendation from a client or customer.


What To Study To Prepare For The Exam
For preparation for the CFOS/DAS course or direct exam, you should take the Fiber U DAS self-study course.





CFOS/DC Data Center Cabling
(Application-based)
 
data center

This is
an application specialist certification covering the cabling used to connect servers, switches and storage in data centers. It covers all types of cabling: UTP copper, coax copper, optical fiber and active optical cables (AOCs).. It is intended for anyone interested in the current state of the art in data center cabling.

Prerequisites: CFOT, CPCT or or equivalent basic knowledge of fiber optics and communications networks. If attendees are not already familiar with or trained in optical fiber and premises cabling, a fiber review is available as part of the course.

What To Expect In Training Programs For Data Center Cabling Specialist Certification
To qualify for Certified Data Center Cabling Specialist certification, a specialist training program must cover at least the following topics:

Typical Field Experience For Direct FTTA Specialist Certification
To qualify for the certification, two years field experience designing and installing data center cabling systems is required.
Training by manufacturers or vendors of cabling products will be recognized as part of the experience requirements.
The applicant must provide data supporting their experience and a recommendation from a client or customer.


What To Study To Prepare For The Exam
For preparation for the CFOS/DC course or direct exam, you should take the Fiber U Data Center Cabling self-study course.

 

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