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Fiber Optic Specialist Certifications

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~45,000 techs have been certified by The FOA
through over 200 FOA-Approved training organizations worldwide! (10/13)
 

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

Specialist certifications are available in these topics:
Click on any specialist certification for more details.

Fiber Optic Installation
Outside Plant Installation (CFOS/O)
Termination (Connectors) (CFOS/C)
Splicing (CFOS/S)
Testing (CFOS/T)

Fiber Optic Network Design (CFOS/D)

Fiber Optic Applications
Fiber To The Home/Curb/etc. (FTTx) (CFOS/H)
Optical LANs (OLANs) (CFOS/L)

FOA specialist certifications are available two ways - 1) by taking a training course from an FOA-approved training organization and taking the FOA exam or 2) by demonstrating appropriate field experience and applying to the FOA directly to take the exam.

All FOA CFOS Certifications Require:
The FOA requirements and exams are based on FOA approved training curriculum, The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide, the FOA textbooks 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 directly, when you think you meet the FOA requirements, contact the FOA for information on taking the specialist certification exams. Local test proctoring is available at FOA approved training centers or may be arranged by the individual. Application for CFOS Certification (pdf)

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


Jump to information on specific FOA CFOS Certifications:
FAQs, Design, FTTx, OLAN, OSP, Connectors Splicing Testing



CFOS/O:  OSP


OSP fiber optic installation

This is a specialist certification covering outside plant fiber optic network installation

Prerequisites: CFOT (some FOA-approved schools teach a combination CFOT and CFOS/O course)


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.

More information on the CFOS/O certification .


CFOS/C: Connectors/Termination

installing fiber optic connectors

This is a specialist certification covering fiber optic termination using various connector styles and procedures.

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. 



CFOS/S: Splicing

splicing fiber optics

This is a specialist certification covering fiber optic splicing procedures.
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:


CFOS/T: Testing

testing fiber optics

This is a specialist certification covering fiber optic testing.


Prerequisites: CFOT or CPCT


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:



CFOS/D: Design

Fiber optic network design

This is a specialist application certification covering fiber optic network design


Prerequisites: CFOT, CPCT
  or basic knowledge of fiber optics and communications networks.


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 Direct Design Specialist Certification Based On Field Experience
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.

More information on the CFOS/D certification .



CFOS/H: FTTx, Fiber To The Home/Premises/Curb/Node, etc.

FTTX OLT Installation

This is a specialist certification covering FTTx networks, cabling design and installation, which includes PON networks 
(formerly FOA CFxT)

Prerequisites: CFOT, CPCT
or basic knowledge of fiber optics and communications networks.
 


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.

More information on the CFOS/H certification
.


CFOS/L: Optical LANs (OLANs)

CFOS/L

This is a specialist application certification covering optical LAN (OLAN) networks, cabling design and installation, which includes P2P and PON networks 

Prerequisites: CFOT, CPCT  or basic knowledge of fiber optics and communications networks reccommended. If attendees are not already trained in optical fiber or LAN cabling, 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. 



FOA Specialist Certification FAQs

Is there one exam for all specialties?
No. Each specialty has its own requirements and exam. You can take one of them or all of them, depending on which you qualify for.

Do you have to be a CFOT or CPCT to take the specialist tests?
That depends on the certification - see prerequisites for each certification above.

What experience level is needed and how do I provide documentation for that experience?
You must have at least the experience level required by the specialty for which you apply to take the exam.
The applicant must provide data supporting their experience and a recommendation from a client or customer.  Manufacturer's training will be considered as partial experience to qualify for the certification.

Studying For FOA Certification Exams
If you are preparing for a FOA exam, either taking a course from an FOA-approved school, you can study for the exam using the FOA "
Fiber U" self study programs. These self-study programs use online references from the FOA websites to guide you through reading material and watching videos, then taking quizzes which should prepare you for the FOA exams.
 

For Those Applying For Direct Certification Only

How Do I Apply For The Certification Exam?
Fill in the CFOS Application  and send to the FOA with a copy of your resume and/or documentation of relevant experience and training.
Be sure to look over the qualifications carefully - you need to have extensive experience to qualify these three certifications.
The third page of the application should be filled out by the person you have chosen to be your Proctor. Then send or fax it back to the FOA for approval. After verification that applicant meets the requirements, the test will be sent to the Proctor. It will be this person's responsibility to oversee you taking the test, collect the test and mail it back to the FOA.


How do I take the exam?
You must pass a comprehensive exam that will be proctored. Exams can be taken on paper or online. Like the CFOT exam, the specialist exams are closed book exams. You should make arrangements to have the exam proctored by your supervisor, instructor or teacher or other professional. It may not be a co-worker or relative. This person must verify that you took the exam without assistance from other people or reference materials during the specified time interval.



Application for Advanced and CFOS Certifications (pdf)
 

 

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