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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.
Printed copies of Lennie Lightwave's Guide at Amazon.com
It's now CFOT® The FOA CFOT® (Certified Fiber Optic Technician) is now a registered trademark.
FOA’s OJT-To-Cert Program - Direct FOA Certification For Fiber Optic Tech TraineesOJT 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 employees involved in OJT. The interest in OJT has been so high, especially during the difficult year in 2020, that FOA decided to formalize an OJT program and create training aids to help employers develop qualified techs using OJT.
Upon completion of this program, the trainee will be prepared to take the exam for the FOA Certified Fiber Optic Technician, the most widely recognized fiber optic certification in the industry.
Program DescriptionThe FOA “OJT-To-Cert” program is designed for companies who want to provide an training opportunity for qualified employees who have limited or no experience in fiber optic installation. Also, through the OJT program, participants can achieve FOA Certified Fiber Optic Technician (CFOT) certification.
Candidates who the meet the FOA requirements (see below) would be accepted as an FOA OJT Trainee. The trainee should be paired with an experienced fiber 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 (https://fiberu.org/) covering the basic knowledge of fiber optic installation with a structured “on-the-job” program to acquire the necessary skills for performing the tasks involved in fiber optic installation focusing on the scope of tasks your company specializes in .
Companies should join the FOA as corporate members. There is no cost to the company or the trainee to participate in this OJT program except for the cost of Fiber U certificates of completion and FOA certification when the trainee completes the program.
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. and achieve their Fiber U Certificate of Completion before applying for the OJT-To-Cert program.
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 leading to the opportunity to take the FOA CFOT online. The Fiber U Basic Fiber Optics program has 10 lessons and for most trainees, one lesson per week should be a good schedule.
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 two Fiber U online courses.
Part 1 - Fiber U “Basic Fiber Optics” - The Online “Classroom” Lessons
The trainee will use the Fiber U “Basic Fiber Optics” online course. This course has 10 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 certification exam. There are 10 lessons in the program and the trainee should be expected to complete one lesson each week.
The trainee must complete the Fiber U Basic Fiber Optics online course and achieve their Fiber U Certificate of Completion before applying for the OJT-To-Cert program.
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.
The FOA OJT-To-Cert program begins after the student submits their Fiber U Certificate of Completion and an application to FOA and is accepted by FOA.
Part 2 – Fiber U Basics Skills Lab - Hands-On Training
While the trainee is working on company projects, they will be exposed to basic practices of fiber optics and begin developing the skills they need with the supervision of an experienced installer. To help guide the training in skills, Fiber U has a program aimed at skills development, the Fiber U "Basics Skills Lab." online course.
The Fiber U Basics Skills Lab is an online guide to learning the basic hands-on skills used by fiber optic techs: cable pulling and prep, splicing, termination and testing. This online course is very comprehensive so not all hands-on lessons will apply to every trainee, 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.
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.
At the completion of both parts of the program – the Basics of Fiber online course and the Fiber Optics Basics Skill Lab and at least 12 months of experience and OJT, the participants will be eligible to take the FOA CFOT Certification exam online.
FOA Direct Certification (OJT-to-Cert) Application (new, experienced technicians only, no students)
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