FOA Recommended OJT Program 

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FOA’s Recommended OJT Program

On-The-Job Training For Fiber Optic and Premises Cabling Technician Trainees

OJT is the well-known term for "on-the-job training." Workers learn on the job under the supervision of experienced co-workers. FOA has been asked many times how its resources like Fiber U can be used to help employers and their employee trainees involved in OJT. The interest in OJT has been so high, that FOA has worked with employers andrecommend an OJT program and create training aids to help employers develop qualified techs using OJT.

FOA recommended OJT program  includes both fiber optics and premises cabling (copper, fiber & wireless), so it covers techs working in both outside plant and premises jobs.

The FOA Fiber U OJT program combines online study at Fiber U with OJT to help new employees develop into experienced, kinowledgeable technicians. 

Program Description

To explain How OJT works and FOA's OJT-To-Cert program, FOA created a short 10 minute YouTube video that explains what OJT is, who uses it and how to use Fiber U to organize and enhance OJT for new employees and experienced workers too.
On The Job Training For Fiber Optics Using Fiber U (video)

The FOA Fiber U OJT program is designed for individuals or companies who want to provide an training opportunity for qualified employees who have limited or no experience in fiber optics or premises cabling installation.  Also, through the OJT program, participants can achieve FOA Certified Fiber Optic Technician (CFOT) certification. or FOA Certified Premises Cabling Technician (CPCT) certification.

The OJT trainee should be paired with an experienced tech or techs in your company acting as the OJT Supervisor. 

The program combines online lessons on the FOA’s free web-based training site Fiber U ( covering the basic knowledge of fiber optics or premises cabling installation with a 1 year structured “on-the-job” program to acquire the necessary skills for performing the tasks involved in installation focusing on the scope of tasks your company specializes in .

Requirements To Be An FOA OJT Trainee
Trainees should have an education level of approximately 10th grade, with basic math and adequate reading level. They should have the ability to work independently, follow directions and be punctual. They must be willing to commit to the program which requires an extra level of time commitment on the job, mostly for outside online study.

Trainee will need Internet access through a PC, tablet or smartphone. The labs will require use of the company’s equipment or purchase of inexpensive equipment online.

Trainee must complete the Fiber U “Basic Fiber Optics” online course or the Fiber U "Premises Cabling" online course depending on their job's focus and achieve their Fiber U Certificate of Completion,  then the complete the relevant basic skills labs on Fiber U.

Appoint the OJT supervisor
The OJT supervisor must be sufficiently experienced in the type of work the trainee will be performing to judge the trainee's progress and be willing to commit working with the trainee for the program.

Duties of the OJT Supervisor
Based on the Fiber U OJT to Cert program, the OJT supervisor should set the timetable for achieving specific learning goals and ongoing evaluation targets. The Supervisor provides supervision to the trainee in a safe environment with the necessary tools to perform the Fiber U Basic Skills Lab “hands-on” assignments outlined in the OJT to Cert program

Online Courses At Fiber U
While working on the job, the candidate must complete tthe Fiber U online course for their job specialty, fiber optics or premises cabling. Each course consists of two parts, one covering the knowledge expected of a certified technician and the other covering the hands-on skills necessary for their job.

Fiber U Fiber Optic OJT - On The Job Training Course  

Fiber U Premises Cabling OJT - On The Job Training Course  

Part 1 -
Fiber U “Online Classroom” Lessons
The trainee will use the Fiber U “Basic Fiber Optics” online course or the Fiber U "Premises Cabling" online course depending on their job's focus.  These courses have lessons aligned with the FOA reference materials. The learning objectives are outlined by the FOA’s list of KSA’s (knowledge, skills and abilities) that must be mastered to pass the FOA CFOT or CPCT certification exam.

The trainee must complete the Fiber U online course and achieve their Fiber U Certificate of Completion.
The OJT supervisor should monitor the trainee's progress. It is important to make sure the trainee is reviewing and mastering the material on the agreed upon schedule so he/she will be ready for the OJT portion of the course.  We suggest you have the trainee save each completed lesson quizzes (print to PDF or paper) and submit each one to you as they are completed.  The instructor can assign additional review material to individual students as needed.

Part 2 – Fiber U Basics Skills Lab - Hands-On Training While Working On Jobs
While the trainee is working on company projects, they will be exposed to basic practices of fiber optics and/or premises cabling and begin developing the skills they need with the supervision of an experienced installer. To help guide the training in skills, Fiber U has programs aimed at skills development, the Fiber U "Basics Skills Labs." online courses.

The Fiber U Basics Skills Labs are online guides to learning the basic hands-on skills used by fiber optic or premises cabling techs, The appropriate lessons can be chosen by the supervisor as appropriate. There is no schedule on this part of the lessons wither; topics can be scheduled to fit the work being done by the trainee.

In these hands-on lessons, there are FOA YouTube Videos and “Virtual Hands-On”  tutorials to give the trainee step by step instructions on how to use tools and components - prepare cables, splice, terminate and test them. For each lesson, the trainee should use company equipment and components to complete the hands-on exercises. If preferred, the Basic Skills Lab has a DIY program based on inexpensive equipment available online that provide the basic skills before beginning to use more professional equipment.

OJT trainees should keep track of their work using the FOA OJT Log which can be downloaded from the Fiber U lesson plans.

Part 3: Certification
After completion of the two basic Fiber U courses, while the trainee is working on the job, they may take additional Fiber U courses relating to their work. All Fiber U courses are free and cover topics related to skills and applications for techs doing fiber optic installation work. Once they have completed 2 years of OJT, they may apply for the FOA Direct Certification program.

Get started - go to the Fiber U programs linked above.

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