What is An FOA Approved School?
FOA has a worldwide network of schools that are
"FOA Approved" which means that they meet the high standards that FOA
has set for training organizations and are authorized to conduct classes
offering FOA Certifications. What does that mean?
- FOA Approved Schools offer curriculum that follows the requirements of the FOA KSAs for each Certification.
- FOA Approved Schools have facilities to teach properly including labs equipped for hands-on training specified by the FOA KSAs.
- FOA Approved Schools have instructors that have
FOA CFOS/I Instructor certifications showing they meet the highest
standards for quality instruction.
- FOA Approved Schools are evaluated annually to ensure they continue to meet the FOA requirements.
- FOA Approved Schools have experience - some have been teaching fiber optics for over 20 years.
Only FOA Approved Schools may offer FOA Certifications.
Why choose the FOA Certification Program for your training organization?
The FOA is a non-profit international professional association and
recognized certifying body for fiber optic technicians. FOA was created
in 1995 by a dozen trainers from the fiber optic industry who believed
the industry needed a professional organization for its workers. The
FOA’s charter is “to promote professionalism in fiber optics through
education, certification and standards.
FOA develops standards for training and certification of fiber optic
technicians and instructors. FOA certifications begin with basic fiber optics, the CFOT®, and include specialist certifications
in technician skills (splicing, termination, testing and network
design) and applications (fiber to the home, fiber for wireless, data
centers, etc.) We also develop and provide training
curriculum for FOA-approved schools who prefer to use ours rather than
developing their own.
FOA certifications are created and administered following international
standards for certifying bodies, e.g. ISO17024. FOA certifications are
recognized by the US Department of Labor. The USDoL reviews
certifications and how they relate to job opportunities and training.
- FOA techs certified since 1995, many holding multiple specialists certifications
What are the Benefits of FOA Certification to your students?
In today’s high tech world, certification is considered proof of
professional status. FOA Certifications open up job opportunities and
assure employers of worker competence, whether the worker is new to the
industry or looking to move up.
What types of organizations are eligible to be an FOA Approved School?
- FOA has welcomed hundreds of organizations into
the FOA Approved School program. Those organizations include community
colleges and technical high schools, universities, government agencies,
telecommunications companies, fiber optic equipment manufacturers, trade
unions, professional societies and independent professional trainers.
Today, FOA has over 200 approved training programs using the FOA
certification program in the US and around the world. We are adding more
all the time.
How is an Approved School applicant evaluated?
- The FOA reviews the school on factors such as
location, curriculum, experience of their instructors, availability of
adequate facilities, etc. We also prefer candidates to have
programs to reach out to the fiber optic businesses in their area to
help their graduates find jobs.
FOA has a worldwide network of approved training organizations.
What does the FOA certification program offer schools?
Approved schools have access to FOA course curriculum
free of change, should they choose to use ours rather than develop
their own. Certification exams are administered online using the FOA
exam system. The schools only pay for certifications for their students.
FOA publishes its own textbooks
which are optional but used by many of our schools as their textbooks.
The basic fiber optics textbook used in CFOT classes is available in
English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. FOA textbooks may be
purchased by the FOA schools at a 40%
FOA has created the largest online technical resource in fiber optics, the FOA Guide, with almost 1,000 pages of technical information that can be used by our schools for reference materials.
FOA has a online learning site, Fiber U,
used by many of our schools for blended learning in their courses.
Fiber U has over two dozen online courses covering all the topics of FOA
certifications and many other fiber optic and cabling topics.
The FOA is the only certifying body that helps the school evaluate
instructor candidates, offers training online to new instructors and
requires them to take a special instructor exam to be qualified to teach
each FOA certification they offer.
FOA also offers guidance on setting up a classroom and hands-on fiber
optic lab, including lab equipment, and contacts to vendors who can
provide the best equipment.
We offer ongoing support to a new school and monitor its performance.
FOA expects that each school maintains FOA standards to continue to
remain in the program.
FOA schools join a worldwide community of professional educators. FOA
schools are encouraged to participate in technical committees that
assist in developing and updating FOA certifications, curriculum and
reference materials. Sharing resources among FOA-approved schools is an
important part of the "community" we have developed over our
How to apply:
Apply online using
the New School Application Form.
For more information: