Fiber optics has become the predominant communications medium, not just for telephones and the Internet, but also for cable television, computer networks, surveillance/security systems, industrial controls, traffic signals, utility grid communications and control, energy exploration/production, alternative energy and more. Even wireless antennas are connected on fiber. Workers in all these fields are expected to understand fiber optics technology and, in many cases, be competent in fiber optic network design, installation and operation. Training and certification for fiber optic technicians working in all these areas has become extremely important and that is the focus of The Fiber Optic Association.
What is The FOA?
The FOA is a international non-profit educational organization that is chartered to promote professionalism in fiber optics through education, certification and standards. Founded in 1995 by a dozen prominent fiber optics trainers and industry personnel as a professional society for fiber optics and a source of independent certification, the FOA has grown to now being involved in:
FOA is incorporated in the US, state of California, as a non-profit educational organization.
The FOA is not a training organization. FOA sets standards for the approved training organizations that provide training for FOA certification. To date (April, 2013), the FOA has approved over 250 training programs in more than 40 countries, including technical high schools and colleges, professional training organizations, major fiber optic manufacturers and companies offering employee training programs. Over 42,000 techs have successfully completed requirements for FOA certifications. In recognition of their excellence, FOA certifications are recognized by the US Department of Labor and organizations in most countries around the world.
Founded soon after the initial commercialization of the Internet, the FOA is a "virtual organization," perhaps one of the first organizations so created. There is no FOA headquarters building - appropriately to its technology, FOA exists on the Internet. Those who run the organization live and work all over the world, using modern communications to communicate and collaborate. The network of experts working to create FOA programs include our Master Instructors who average more than 20 years experience in fiber optics. Their experience ensures FOA curriculum and certifications are the most comprehensive and up to date available.
FOA Guide - The World's Largest Compilation of Fiber Optic Information - and Fiber U online training - all Free
Quality training requires good reference materials. The FOA has worked since its inception to create a compilation of technical information on fiber optics and premises cabling and make it available to everyone for free on the web. The FOA Guide has hundreds of pages of technical information available for free, along with self-study programs and even a Google search to help find the information you need.
The FOA can call on its membership which includes some of the most experienced and qualified people in the industry to help create technical information that is unbiased, technically accurate and written so that it is easily understood. The FOA Online Reference Guide has become the largest and busiest technical website on fiber optics and premises cabling. The FOA technical reference material is also available in printed and eBook formats.
FOA uses our own technical website to create free online self-study programs at Fiber U. These materials are available for those getting started in fiber optics or expanding and updating their knowledge.
The FOA also has many videos on YouTube including lectures on fiber optics and premises cabling and hands-on examples of many standard practices in the industry.
The FOA recognizes the value of certification in today's job markets, where employers evaluate potential employees by their certifications. By offering certifications that are developed by a board of industry experts and are not affiliated with any particular vendor or training organization, FOA provides an independent means to judge the qualification of contractors and employees.
FOA certifications are recognized by the US Department of Labor and in most countries around the world.
The FOA has focused on helping teachers add certification programs on fiber optics and premises cabling into their current curriculum for information technology and communications programs. Fiber optics has been included in courses as diverse as A+ and Cisco computer training and electrical apprenticeships.
FOA certification programs conform to international standards including ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024.
How Can The FOA Help You?
For Users of Fiber Optic Networks
FOA offers free online technical information and a certification program that makes it easier to hire competent personnel.
For Other Technical Organizations Whose Technologies Depend on Fiber Optics
The FOA works with other organizations to bring to their own training and certification programs our fiber optic expertise. FOA is always willing to share our knowledge to enhance your programs.
For Those Actively Working In The Industry
FOA certifies individuals with industry experience through our "Work to Cert" programs.
For Instructors, Schools and Training Organizations
The FOA offers a range of services including instructor training and certification, technical and training materials and support that leads to becoming an "FOA-Approved Training Organization." The FOA lists all approved schools on the FOA website as a guide to students looking for quality training. The FOA "Train-The-Trainer" program leads to a certification required for all FOA fiber optic instructors, the CFOS/I. This program prepares instructors for creating and teaching hands-on courses for fiber optic technician training and lab courses for university level programs. Instructors receive an extensive set of training materials for both classroom and lab sessions.
For Students of FOA Approved Schools
FOA Certification Programs open up job opportunities and assure customers of worker competence. Passing the various levels of the FOA certification program will demonstrate a level of competence in the fiber optics field to employers or customers, whether the worker is new to the industry or looking to move up. FOA certified techs can join the FOA LinkedIn network.
For Everyone In The Industry
The FOA website offers a monthly online newsletter covering industry news and technology. The FOA Guide section offers an extensive library of technical information and tutorials on fiber optics. Numerous links to other relevant websites are included. And full information on the FOA and its programs are available for everyone.
For More Information, go to the home page of the FOA website:
Call 1-760-451-3655, write or email your questions to The FOA office. Or check out the The FOA web site.
Return to The FOA Home Page