for Fiber Optic Association certification is only
offered by FOA-Approved schools. As a nonprofit
educational organization and certifying body for fiber
optics, the FOA does not focus on quantity but quality.
The FOA only approves the best schools that will
maintain the highest quality training.
The FOA is not itself a training organization. The
FOA is a non-profit professional association which
offers certifications to persons who work in the fiber
optic industry. Our charter is to develop standards for
training and certification of fiber optic technicians
and instructors. We also develop and provide training
curriculum for FOA-approved schools. Here
is more information on the FOA.
well as approving schools to participate in the FOA
certification programs, the FOA approves classes at the
first level for CFOT or CPCT certification and
specialist level (FTTx, OSP, termination, splicing,
testing, design and instructing.)
What are the advantages of FOA approval of your courses?
FOA Certification is desired by many students and, by
virtue of it's unbiased nature and comprehensive
certification examinations, widely respected -and
expected - in the industry. FOA approval will lend
credibility to your organization. It will provide a
basis for prospective students to judge the quality of
your programs. It will allow you to offer FOA
certification, known and respected worldwide. The FOA
will list your school on a master
list of FOA-approved schools available on our Web
which, we are told by schools helps recruiting students.
To gain FOA approval, you must meet the criteria defined
below. If you have questions or want to submit a course
for approval, contact The FOA or fill in the application
form and return it to the FOA.
every school that applies for FOA approval is accepted. The
FOA evaluates the school on the basis of curriculum,
instructors, facilities, financial stability, reputation and
longevity plus the need for schools in a geographic area.
Thus not only is the educational capability evaluated but
also the business acumen and service to the industry. The
FOA also considers the number of schools in any geographic
area and reserves the right to limit the number of schools
in an area where additional capacity is not warranted.
of FOA Approval of Training Organizations
FOA has developed guidelines for fiber optic training
courses and approves training organizations around the
world that meet our standards. One of the reasons the
FOA has such a good reputation world-wide is that we
accept only the best training organizations and require
them to maintain the highest standards so that they
produce the best fiber optic technicians in the world.
We also require all instructors to be FOA certified as
instructors. To maintain our reputation, we require all
our schools to maintain these high standards and monitor
FOA approval is granted only to a program at an individual
location for a specific program using designated
instructors. Any changes in the organization as approved
requires the FOA be notified and approval of the changes
given in writing. This includes any changes in ownership,
financial stability (e.g. bankruptcy), instructors, etc.
FOA offers curriculum free to approved schools under a "site
license." FOA curriculum may not be transferred or sold, put
online or otherwise used except in the manner defined by the
FOA approval requires annual renewal and updating of all the
relevant information for the school.
FOA operates as an international "virtual" organization that
depends on a large amount of volunteer help from its
approved schools. FOA expects and requires its FOA-Approved
schools to understand how the organization operates and
actively participate in making the FOA work efficiently. FOA
represents hundreds of schools worldwide and could not
operate without their cooperation. Schools that do not
cooperate or participate in the process are subject to
having their FOA approval taken away.
If your organization is accepted by the FOA, you join a
worldwide community of professional educators. FOA schools
are expected to participate in the development and updating
of certifications, curriculum and reference materials.
Sharing resources among FOA-approved schools is an important
part of the "community" we have developed over our history
and schools are expected to respect and participate in that
process. In the past, this has involved cooperating on
translating materials and working together with other
organizations to develop programs.
FOA school approval is not transferable. Schools may not
sell, transfer or otherwise move the FOA approval or
certification to any other organization without reapplying
for school approval. Instructors cannot take FOA school
approval to another school; the approval is for the school,
not the instructor. If a school changes an instructor,
a new instructor may be designated as long as they meet FOA
certification requirements before teaching classes and the
FOA is notified immediately.
your organization is approved and you agree to comply
with the FOA guidelines, you will be provided with the
appropriate instructions to offer FOA certifications and
your courses will be promoted on the FOA website.
Courses must include both classroom sessions and hands-on
labs appropriate to the certification and the school must
have appropriate equipment to teach students the knowledge
and skills required by the certification. (KSAs)
for all schools applying to become a FOA-Approved
requires all organizations applying for approval to be
evaluated on three major issues: the organization, the
curriculum and the instructors.
requires all schools to be established training
organizations with a substantial history of providing
training to the satisfaction of students. FOA will not
approve any newly-established organization that wishes
to become a training organization or established
organization that wishes to start a training operation.
Organizations applying for FOA approval must designate the
instructors for the courses. All instructors teaching
courses that offer FOA certifications must meet FOA
requirements for instructors.
Training organizations applying to become an FOA Approved
Organization must already have an experienced fiber
optic/premises cabling instructor on staff and a history of
successfully teaching an appropriate or similar
course. The school evaluation process includes
evaluation of your instructor(s). You are not eligible
to apply if you do not have the qualified instructor(s) on
staff. If you plan on hiring experienced fiber
optic/premises cabling instructor(s), this person must be on
staff and actively instructing for your organization for at
least one year before you can apply. At this point,
this instructor would have to apply for the CFOS/I
certification as part of the FOA Approval process
Please note: if you are thinking of hiring an FOA CFOS/I
certified instructor, be aware that the instructor
certification is tied to the school not the
individual. This instructor must re-apply for the
certification with the new organization.
If you have an immediate need for training and certifying
fiber optic or premises cabling technicians, you should
contact the FOA office and we will recommend an FOA Approved
School that could work with you.
courses taught for FOA certification must meet the requirements
for FOA curriculum and be approved by The FOA. It
is the responsibility of the school to review the course
requirements and appropriate KSAs
and affirm that the course meets FOA requirements before
submitting a school application. The KSAs require that
all classes include both classroom and hands-on lab
should generally be at least 1/3 to 1/2 of total class
time. FOA will consider "blended learning" classes as
long as in-person hands-on training to develop skills is
Organizations applying for FOA-approval must be
credit-worthy and may be asked to provide documentation.
must apply online using the New School Application
(below). Before final approval the school will be
required to pay a nonrefundable application fee which
includes the first five certifications, including those
of their designated instructors.
must submit a course outline for each course proposed
for offering FOA Certification, including a description
of hands-on labs (which should generally be at least 1/3
to 1/2 of class time), class notes and reference text(s)
for FOA review on each course submitted for approval.
Schools will be required to document their training
facility and equipment. Schools must review their
courses and affirm the courses meet FOA requirements for
Organizations must submit resumes for all proposed
instructors. As part of the process of evaluating an
organization for the FOA Approved School program, an
instructor candidate is asked to take appropriate
exams. Passing these exams does not
automatically confer CFOS/I certification. This
is one part of the overall Approved School evaluation.
The CFOS/I certification is only conferred if the
organization achieved Approved School status.
Additional information may be requested, such as a review
copy of training materials, handouts, etc., lists of lab
equipment available, digital photos of labs, incorporation
papers, resale/sales tax documentation, references, etc.
All schools must sign and return to the FOA the "FOA
Approved Training Organization Agreement" before approval
will be granted.
Approval of the organization and/or any course may be
withdrawn at any time with 30 day notice if the
organization violates FOA rules, procedures or policies
or engages in unethical activities. This may include but
is not limited to not notifying FOA of changes or
disputes of ownership, offering a FOA certification
course that fails to meet FOA requirements or is given
by a instructor who is not FOA certified, if unresolved
complaints are received regarding the course, the school
does not submit certification applications and payments
promptly, the school advertises FOA certification for
courses but does not offer it to all students, the
school uses FOA curriculum for courses not offering FOA
certification, the school uses FOA certification exams
but does not send applications and fees to the FOA,
violates the license agreement with the FOA governing
the use of FOA copyright materials or engages in any
activity that reflects badly on the reputation of the
school or the FOA.
Schools are expected to be active and submit certifications
regularly to the FOA.
Schools may also be removed if not responding promptly
to annual renewals or inquiries from FOA staff.
Schools must cease use of FOA logos or claims of offering
FOA certification courses immediately upon withdrawal of
All schools must sign and return to the FOA the "FOA
Approved Training Organization Agreement" before approval
will be granted. Under this agreement, the school is
obligated to abide by FOA rules.
approval and all the FOA Certification tests, curriculum
and background information to run programs in the
training organization are offered subject to the
acceptance of license agreements and warranty terms.
agreement is limited to the named organization, its
designated instructors and courses given at the approved
location. Any changes are subject to removal of approval
and may require re-application.
are licensed to use FOA material for its intended
purpose only, namely training and certifying students in
fiber optics as part of FOA certification programs. You
may not use the FOA certification exams in any way
except to print and administer the exams to your
students for the purposes of FOA certification and must
pay the FOA application fee for each exam given.
No other use is authorized.
FOA materials may be resold or transferred to any other
organization agrees that it is its responsibility is to
protect the exams and all other FOA material from
unauthorized distribution or use.
intellectual property rights and copyright of the
original material remain the property of The Fiber Optic
Apply online using
the New School Application Form.
more information, contact The Fiber Optic Association.
Please remember the office is on California time!