In today's high tech world, certification is considered proof of professional status and is often required for jobs. The FOA was chartered to approve schools offering training and provide certifications as a service to the fiber optic industry. The FOA programs are developed and maintained by experts in the fiber optic business, most of whom have over 20 years of expereince as technicians, installers, manufacturers and teachers of fiber optics.
What is certification? Certification means you have achieved certain performance criteria set by the certifying organization, usually knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs), either through training or experience. Certifications attest to your KSAs, and their value is the recognition of those KSAs to customers, coworkers and employers. Certification is not a license, which is a official approval of an individual to do business in the jurisdiction issuing the license, such as a state in the USA. Many states in the USA now require licensing for contractors installing communications cabling. Check your local area to determine the requirements for licensing.
The FOA offers three levels of fiber optic certification:
CFOT - Certified Fiber Optic Technician for general fiber optics
CFxT - Certified Fiber Optic Technician for FTTx (fiber to the home, fiber to the premises, fiber to the curb)
CPCT - Certified Premises Cabling Technician (fiber, copper and wireless in building and campus networks)
AFOT - Advanced Fiber Optic Technician
CFOS or Certified Fiber Optic Specialist. The specialist level, CFOs tests for the applicant's level of knowledge of fiber optics in a broad-based exam that covers technology, components, installation and testing.
CFOS/D or Certified Fiber Optic Specialist-Designer. Fiber Optic Network Design