FOA School Approval

training at FOA approved school

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. 

CFOT total
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.

Map of FOA schools

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% discount.

All books

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.

Fiber U online learning

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 history. 

How to apply:

Apply online using the New School Application Form.

For more information:

Contact The FOA



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