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KSAs for CFOT and all Fiber Optics

FOA Approved Training Programs

Online Study Guides and References
Free online self-study programs on many fiber optics and cabling topics are available free at Fiber U, FOA's online web-based training website.

FOA Direct Certification (Work-to-Cert) Application (new, experienced technicians only, no students)
 (PDF)   (DOC)   

FOA Renewal Policy  
Renewal Application(pdf)
Renewal Online  

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 printed
Printed copies of Lennie Lightwave's Guide at

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.  

FOA’s “Work To Cert” Program -  Direct FOA Certification For Experienced Fiber Optic Technicians

FOA allows experienced technicians to apply directly to the FOA and become certified.

FOA’s “Work To Cert” Program makes it easier for experienced fiber techs to qualify for the FOA certification.
At least two years of recent relevant experience in the fiber optic industry is required. The qualifications for direct certification are described below.  FOA requires relevant experience in the field and passing the certification exam.

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

Note: All applicants for FOA certification must agree to the Required Conditions for FOA Certification.

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. Be sure to include your job titles, start/end dates, name of supervisors, company names and address including the company website for all jobs listed.

CFOT means certified fiber optic technician. You must have at least 2 years recent experience working as a technician 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 on the application any training you have received, including training by manufacturers, schools or online  training like Fiber U.

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 an online FOA Certification exam, you should take the Fiber U online course corresponding to the certification you apply for. Verify your knowledge by taking the Fiber U online exam that corresponds to the FOA certification exam you wish to take. The cost of the exam is $20US.

The free Fiber U online courses are an excellent way to prepare for your exam. At the end of each lesson in the course 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, take the Fiber U
Certificate of Completion exam. You will get a Fiber U Certificate of Completion in pdf format. This Fiber U Certificate of Completion becomes documentation of your knowledge of fiber optics and should be part of your portfolio of documented knowledge, other training and work experience that can qualify you to apply for FOA direct certification through the FOA "Work to Cert" program.

How To Get Your Certificate of Completion

Step 3. Submit an application for the FOA Work-To-Cert online certification exam

Note: All applicants for FOA certification must agree to the Required Conditions for FOA Certification.

Fill out the application for the online certification exam and submit with your resume showing 2 years of acceptable experience. FOA will respond with step-by-step instructions on how to complete the process. 

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 certification exam and verify that you have taken the exam without assistance from other people or referring to a textbook or online reference.

Filling Out the Application for the FOA Work to Cert Exam

Read the application carefully. Contact the person who you want to ask to be your proctor and set a date and a place to take your exam online. 

Note: you need to select a date for the exam that is at least a week from the date you submit the application to the FOA.

You need to sign the application and your proctor needs to sign their application also to confirm that he/she will follow the FOA guidelines on page 3.


FOA Direct "Work-to-Cert" Certification Application (experienced technicians only)  (PDF)   (DOC)  

Make sure that you have all the required submissions:
1) Attach your resume showing at least 2 years applicable experience. If you do not have a resume, here is a form to use: (PDF)  (DOC)
2) Attach any Certificates of Completion from training such as the Fiber U online certificate programs or others that corresponds to the certification you are applying to take. 
3) Fill in the Proctor Application, Pg 2 and 3 of the application.  Be sure to email a copy of the 3rd page of the application to your proctor.  These are the directions for the person to prepare for your test date

Choosing a Proctor
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 certification exam and verify that you have taken the exam without assistance from other people or referring to a text.  Here are the guidelines for how to choose a proctor:

The proctor can be a person with whom you have professional relationship or someone who has a position of authority in your community.  Examples are:
An educator in your community, but not the fiber instructor who has previously trained you. 
An HR person or manager in your company
An officer of a recognized service organization you belong to
A librarian
It cannot be a relative or anyone who might receive direct financial gain from the outcome of the testing
You can use a testing center but you need to get prior approval from the FOA before making these arrangements,
If you have questions about who to choose as a proctor, contact the FOA (

If your application is accepted, we will email to let you know.  The fee for this is exam is $100 US for the first certification with FOA and $60 for any subsequent certifications and you will pay it online when taking 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 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 and pay certification fee

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 ($100US for the first certification and $60 for any additional certifications 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 certification ID card will be sent to you if you live in the US or Canada and emailed to you in all other countries.

Please note: If any irregularities occur,  your exam will be voided immediately.  Your proctor will be contacted to give a full report on the testing session.  A decision will be made about retesting options or permanent ban according to FOA policies (see About the FOA Certification Exam -



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