Splicing of Fiber Optic cable

April 29, 2014
Siemens Siecor Corning Model
OSP fiber optic installationFiber Optic Specialist Certifications
FOA Specialist Certifications
For those wanting to learn more about specialized fiber optic applications or who wish to develop greater skills in the process of fiber optic installation, FOA offers specialist training and certifications.

Specialist certifications are available in two categories, Skills-based and Applications-based.

  • Skills-based certifications are those involving hands-on process related to the installation of fiber optic networks such as outside plant (OSP) installation, splicing, termination and testing. Skills-based certifications require a CFOT or CPCT as a prerequisite for both classes at a FOA-Approved school or application for direct certification.
  • Applications-based certifications are based on specific applications of fiber optics like fiber to the home (FTTH) or optical LANs (OLANs.) These application-based certifications do not require a CFOT or CPCT as a prerequisite but do require a basic knowledge of fiber optics. That basic knowledge may be obtained online, for example using the free Fiber U Basic Fiber Optics or Premises Cabling course or a introductory presentation at a school prior to the start of the actual course.
Note: Techs doing fiber installation for any particular application should have a CFOT to be qualified for doing installation work. The CFOT is the basic certification required for all installation personnel.
Click on any specialist certification for more details.

Skills-Based Specialist Certifications For Techs Involved With Fiber Optic Installation
Fiber Characterization (CD, PMD, SA)
Fiber Optic Network Design
Applications-Based Specialist Certifications For Users, Designers, Contractors and Installers
Fiber To The Home/Curb/etc. (FTTx)
Optical LANs (OLANs)
Fiber To The Antenna (FTTA)
Data Center Cabling
Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS)
FOA specialist certifications are available two ways -
  • Taking a training course through an FOA-Approved training organization and taking the FOA exam
  • Direct from the FOA by demonstrating appropriate field experience and applying to the FOA to take the exam online. All direct FOA certifications require documented experience in the application; those without experience may take the courses online at and get a Fiber U certification of completion which can be submitted as part of the requirements when applying for certification.

All FOA CFOS Certifications Require:
  • Prerequisites which may include certifications (CFOT or CPCT), field experience or appropriate background.
  • Completing training courses from FOA-Approved schools or relevant field experience and/or training by manufacturers or others.
  • Passing a Specialist certification exam
Complete directions of the certification process are .

installing fiber optic connectorsThe FOA requirements and exams are based on FOA approved training curriculum, The FOA Online Fiber Optic Reference Guide, the FOA textbooks or self-study programs on Fiber U.

If you are already a CFOT or CPCT interested in specialist certifications, you should keep records of your field experience qualifying for FOA specialist certifications.

If you wish to apply for certification directly based on your industry experience, read the information on the FOA "Work to Cert" program below on taking the specialist certification exams.

If you are a current CFOT or CPCT, you do not get a new CFOT/Membership number. Upon completion of the requirements, you will receive a new FOA ID Card with your new certifications listed. Your CFOT number and expiration data will not change.


Skills-Based Specialist Certifications For Techs Involved With Fiber Optic Installation
Skills-based certifications are those involving hands-on process related to the design and installation of fiber optic networks such as outside plant (OSP) installation, splicing, termination and testing. Skills-based certifications require a CFOT or CPCT as a prerequisite for both classes at a FOA-Approved school or application for direct certification.
CFOS/O: OSP Installation (Skills-based)

This is a specialist certification covering outside plant fiber optic network installation intended for technicians involved in the design or installation of OSP fiber networks.

Prerequisites: CFOT (some FOA-approved schools teach a combination CFOT and CFOS/O course.)

What To Expect In Training Programs For OSP Specialist Certification
To qualify for Certified Fiber Optic Specialist/OSP certification, a specialist training program will cover at least the following topics:

  • Overview of OSP fiber optic installations
  • Communications systems utilizing OSP fiber optic cable plant
  • Fiber optic components appropriate for OSP networks
  • Installation of buried, underground and aerial cable
  • Splicing and testing cables, including splice closures, OLTS and OTDR testing
  • Restoration
  • Lab Exercises including hands-on splicing and testing on simulated outside plant.

Typical Field Experience For Direct OSP Specialist Certification To qualify for the CFOS/O certification, a CFOT plus two years of field experience are required, including documented experience installing and testing OSP fiber optic networks. Training by employers, manufacturers or vendors of cabling products will be recognized as part of the experience requirements.
CFOS/L Field experience installing and testing OSP fiber optic networks must include the following:
  • Participation in multiple installation jobs, preferably including buried, underground and aerial cable installations
  • Experience preparing OSP cable types
  • Experience with fusion splicing
  • Experience test with VFL, OLTS, OTDR

What To Study To Prepare For The Exam


More information on the CFOS/O certification .
CFOS/C: Connectors/Termination (Skills-based) This is a specialist certification covering fiber optic termination using various connector styles and procedures intended for technicians involved in terminating fiber optic cables in connectors for manufacturing or field installation.

Prerequisites: CFOT or CPCT


What To Expect In Training Programs For Connectors Specialist Certification FOA-Approved training for Certified Fiber Optic Specialist/Connectors certification meets the following requirements:
  • Classroom sessions on termination methods, connector types and testing.
  • Hands-on labs covering several styles of connectors and installation methods, such as epoxy/adhesive, Hot Melt, anaerobic or prepolished/splice connectors.
  • Testing connectors made in hands-on labs showing achievement of insertion loss less than or equal to the maximum rating of the connectors.
  • Inspecting and cleaning connectors correctly
  • Instructor verification of achievement of advanced skills in termination
  • Course includes ~50% lab time

Typical Field Experience For Direct Connectors Specialist Certification To qualify for the CFOS/C certification, the field, or factory installation experience needs to meet the following requirements:
  • Installation of at least hundreds of connectors
  • Testing connectors showing achievement of insertion loss less than or equal to the maximum rating of the connectors.
  • Training by manufacturers or vendors of appropriate cabling products will be recognized as part of the experience requirements.
The applicant must provide data supporting their experience and a recommendation from a client or customer. What To Study To Prepare For The Exam
CFOS/L: Optical LANs (OLANs) (Application-based)
This is an application specialist certification covering optical LAN (OLAN) networks, cabling design and installation, which includes P2P and PON networks used in place of traditional LAN cabling based on traditional structured cabling standards for copper/fiber networks. It is intended for anyone interested in the use of fiber optics in LANs.
Prerequisites: CFOT, CPCT or or equivalent basic knowledge of fiber optics and communications networks recommended. If attendees are not already familiar with or trained in optical fiber, a fiber review is available as part of the course.
What To Expect In Training Programs For OLAN Specialist Certification
To qualify for Certified Optical LAN Specialist certification, a specialist training program must cover at least the following topics:
  • Introduction to optical LAN: centralized fiber, P2P and PON networks
  • Overview of network architectures including Point-to-Point and PONs with relevant standards
  • OLAN Components and Installation Methods
  • OLAN Testing (including PONs)
  • Lab Exercises covering design, installation and testing

Typical Field Experience For Direct OLAN Specialist Certification
To qualify for the certification, two years field experience designing and installing optical LAN or other optical premises networks are required.
Training by manufacturers or vendors of cabling products will be recognized as part of the experience requirements. The applicant must provide data supporting their experience and a recommendation from a client or customer.

CFOS/A: Fiber To The Antenna (FTTA) (Application-based)

This is an application specialist certification which covers how fiber optics is used to connect antennas to electronics at the base of cellular telephone towers. Cell antennas on buildings, small cells and distributed antenna systems (DAS) are described also. It is intended for anyone interested in how fiber is used in cellular communications.

Prerequisites: CFOT, CPCTor or equivalent basic knowledge of fiber optics and communications networks. If attendees are not already familiar with or trained in optical fiber, a fiber review is available as part of the course.

What To Expect In Training Programs For FTTA Specialist Certification
To qualify for Certified FTTA Specialist certification, a specialist training program must cover at least the following topics:

  • Cellular wireless tower options
  • Options in component choice
  • Installation of fiber optics on the tower (cables and hardware)
  • Testing the components and installed cable plant

Typical Field Experience For Direct FTTA Specialist Certification
To qualify for the certification, two years field experience designing and installing FTTA systems is required.
Training by manufacturers or vendors of cabling products will be recognized as part of the experience requirements. The applicant must provide data supporting their experience and a recommendation from a client or customer.

cell antennas stadium splicing fiber optics testing fiber optics
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