FOA CPCT certification includes all types of infrastructure for premises cabling and communications - copper and fiber cabling and wireless systems. CPCT certification is based on KSAs (knowledge, skills and abilities) that require a knowledge of cabling and wireless technology and standards along with demonstrated skills in the installation of copper and fiber cabling system to support networks. Most CPCTs will work as contractors and installers, although the certification provides excellent training for IT or security personnel responsible for the operation of networks. CPCT courses will generally be 50% hands-on labs developing the skills necessary for working with premises cabling systems.
- CPCT - Certified Premises Cabling Technician - is the FOA certification for designers, installers and operators of premises cabling networks. Premises cabling refers to building and campus cabling that is generally customer-owned and used for local area networks of computers (LANs), security systems (CCTV and alarms), building management systems, distributed antenna systems (DAS for cellular and WiFI) and other applications like industrial systems, electrical distribution management systems, etc.
FOA CPCT certification is available as a first level FOA certification for those with no prior FOA certifications. Those who already have CFOTs will learn more about copper, wireless and how fiber is used in structured cabling networks.
FOA CPCT certification means the person has demonstrated extensive basic knowledge of copper cabling, fiber optics and wireless as used in premises cabling systems. They have also demonstrated skills and abilities in the processes used in the industry for installation. These requirements are summarized as KSAs (knowledge, skills, abilities). Here are KSAs for the CPCT and other FOA certifications.
- How Does One Qualify for the FOA CPCT?
Knowledge is tested in the FOA CPCT exam taken by all applicants.
Skills can be demonstrated in hands-on lab exercises and verified by instructors giving an FOA-Approved course or for those already working in the industry, verified industry experience.
Abilities: Techs need the ability to perform relevant tasks, evidenced by showing skills in hands-on tasks.
- There are two paths to CPCT certification: 1) training at an FOA-Approved school or 2) experience in the industry and other training or self-study, as preparation for taking the FOA CPCT exam.
Anyone who attends a CFOT course at an FOA-Approved school wil be able to take the exam as part of the course.
- Those currently working in the IT or cabling industry who have had other training and/or at least 2 years working experience in the industry may take the exam. Credit for hands-on training at non-FOA-Approved schools will be by presentation of a certificate or written confirmation from the instructor(s) that the training has been completed and the student has demonstrated adequate skills. Credit for industry experience can be documented by resume.
- Find an FOA-Approved school
- Apply directly for FOA Certification (PDF) (DOC)
- What Are the Benefits of FOA Certification ?
Like any certification program, the benefits to the members who pass the certification tests are based on the recognition of achieving a level of competence in the fiber optics field. For the end user looking for competent fiber optic personnel, it is the knowledge that this person has demonstrated knowledge and ability in the field and, perhaps even has documented experience. For the vendor of fiber optic products, it offers a technically- qualified pool of employees as well as contractors to recommend to end user customers who need to find installers for their networks. Many companies require FOA certifications or even offer FOA certifications to their personnel through internal training classes.
- What Training Is Required To Take The Exam?
- Although most CPCTs obtain their certification by attending an FOA Approved school, no specific training is required to take the CPCT exam if you already have experience in the industry. The basic knowledge required may be gained from formal training classes, picked up from experience in the field or from self-study at Fiber U, the FOA free online self-study website. The exam is based on the FOA-written textbooks, The FOA Reference Guide to Premises Cabling or the FOA Online Reference Guide website for those who wish to study for it themselves.
For those wanting a formal course of study, there are many FOA-approved schools that include the FOA CFOT in their programs. To see what is involved in the courses, see Detailed Curriculum Requirements For FOA-Approved Training Programs. For a guide to self-study for the FOA CPCT exam, go to Fiber U, the FOA free online self-study website.
FOA Schools Use These CPCT Curriculum Topics:
- Introduction to Premises Cabling
- Structured Cabling Description and Standards
- Premises Wiring
- Premises Fiber Optics
- Hands-on Labs: Wiring (cable, punchdowns, jacks and plugs) and fiber optics (premises cabling, termination and testing)
- How Is the Certification exam administered?
For the CPCT certification, there is a certification exam. FOA-Approved Schools offer the CPCT exam at the end of their training classes or allow taking it afterwards. For individuals, arrangements can be made for taking the exam online with a local proctor. The proctor may be a supervisor, instructor, teacher or other professional, but may not be a co-worker or relative.
- What Does Certification Cost?
See the application form for certification costs. The price includes the first year FOA membership and registration. Discounts for CFOT certification testing is available to students in FOA approved training programs.Certification and FOA membership must be renewed annually.
- Preparing For The CPCT Exam
- If you are planning on taking the CPCT exam, you need to study the materials on which the exam is based. The exam is a written exam consisting of 100 multiple choice, matching and true false questions. The exam is based on the FOA-written textbook, The FOA Reference Guide to Premises Cabling or the FOA Online Reference Guide website. For a guide to self-study for the FOA CPCT exam, go to Fiber U, the FOA free online self-study website.
- You should take the Premises Cabling online course at Fiber U and obtain a certificate of completion or read the FOA textbook or Online Reference Guide and answer all the chapter or section questions.
- Experienced techs may apply directly for FOA Certification (PDF) (DOC)
- Training Course Approval
Information for schools interested in gaining FOA Approval for their courses and offering FOA Certifications.