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FOA Certification

Fiber Optic Network Design Specialist (CFOS/D)

FOA Fiber Optic Network Design

The FOA specialist certification CFOS/D, “Fiber Optic Network Design,”  covers how fiber optic networks are designed within the context of complete communications systems or construction projects. This training and certification focuses on how to design a fiber optic cable plant that will provide the transmission requirements of a desired communications system.

This is a specialist application certification covering fiber optic network design intended for network owners, IT personnel, facilities managers, network designers, estimators or technicians involved in the design or installation of fiber networks. This course is especially recommended for network owners and planners who may not be familiar with the process of fiber optic network design as it can make their jobs easier and their projects better.

Fiber optic networks are widely used, not just for telecom, but CATV, computer LANs, cellular phone towers, municipal wireless, security surveillance systems, metropolitan data, intelligent highways, fiber to the home, or practically every communications network. Every fiber optic network is unique and requires a thorough design process from conception to completion to ensure a proper design.

The FOA Certification is focused on the unique aspects of fiber optic network design, assuming the fiber optic designer works with project managers overseeing the complete project design. The focus is on the cooperation between network owner/user and contractor to work with the designers to create a plan and documentation that will facilitate the actual network construction.  The FOA certification and training curriculum include these basic topics:
  • Planning the network - establishing the needs for communications and the network route(s)
  • Starting the documentation
  • Choosing equipment, hardware and components,
  • Understanding power and loss budgets
  • Planning and supervising the installation process
  • Planning for operation and restoration
  • Hands-on case studies
What is not inherently part of the FOA curriculum but is left to the school and the students is the drawings, usually done in CAD, and GIS (geographic information systems) location of the routing. Too often fiber optic network design is thought of as only doing a set of drawings, but this course is intended to cover the actual project design where the personnel focus on the communications system and infrastructure that lead to proper documentation and drawings from which personnel can effectively build the project.


Recommended preparation for the training and certification include having a FOA first level certification (CFOT or CPCT) certification or equivalent knowledge and experience in fiber optic communication technology and installation. Those without familiarity with fiber optics can prepare for the course by taking the Basic Fiber Optics Course at Fiber U. A refresher course is available as an introduction to this course also.

Training And Certification Exams
The certification is offered through many of the FOA-Approved schools which will provide appropriate training. Industry professionals with appropriate experience may apply directly to The FOA to take the CFOS/D exam. A free online self-study program is available through FOA's online training site, Fiber U.

FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optic Network Design

FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optic Network Design

The CFOS/D curriculum materials, FOA textbook and FOA Online Guide pages on Design are used as references for the CFOS/D exam.
To better understand the requirements for CFOS/D certification, see this page on training program requirements.
FOA certification training is available from FOA-approved schools.

Application for Advanced and CFOS Certifications (pdf)

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