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It's CFOT® The FOA CFOT® (Certified Fiber Optic
Technician) is now a registered trademark.
Training And Direct FOA Certification For Fiber Optic and
Premises Cabling Technician Trainees
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 employee trainees involved in OJT. The
interest in OJT has been so high, especially during the difficult
year in 2020, that FOA has worked with employers and employees to
formalize an OJT program and create training aids to help
employers develop qualified techs using OJT.
Fiber U “OJT-To-Cert” program includes both fiber
optics and premises cabling (copper, fiber & wireless), so it
covers techs working in both outside plant and premises jobs.
FOA Fiber U OJT program combines online study at Fiber U
with OJT to help new employees
develop into FOA-certified technicians in only one
year. Upon completion of this program,
the trainee will be prepared to take the exam for the FOA CFOT
(Certified Fiber Optic Technician) and/or CPCT (Certified
Premises Cabling Technician), the most widely recognized fiber
optic and premises cabling certifications in the industry.
How OJT works and FOA's OJT-To-Cert program, FOA created a short
10 minute YouTube video that explains what OJT is, who uses it
and how to use Fiber U to organize and enhance OJT for new
employees and experienced workers too. On
The Job Training For Fiber Optics Using Fiber U (video)
The OJT trainee should be paired with an
experienced tech or techs in your company acting as the OJT
combines online lessons on the FOA’s free web-based training site
Fiber U (https://fiberu.org/)
covering the basic knowledge of fiber optics or premises cabling
installation with a 1 year structured “on-the-job” program to acquire the
necessary skills for performing the tasks involved in installation
focusing on the scope of tasks your company specializes in .
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
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.
must complete the Fiber
U “Basic Fiber Optics” online course or the Fiber U
"Premises Cabling" online course depending on their job's focus
and achieve their Fiber U Certificate of Completion, then
the complete the relevant basic skills labs on Fiber U during
their year as OJT trainees.
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.
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
or CPCT certification online. 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
Courses At Fiber U While
working on the job, the candidate must complete tthe Fiber U
online course for their job specialty, fiber optics or premises
cabling. Each course consists of two parts, one covering the
knowledge expected of a certified technician and the other
covering the hands-on skills necessary for their job.
Part 1 - Fiber
U “Online Classroom” Lessons The trainee
will use the Fiber U “Basic Fiber Optics” online course or
the Fiber U "Premises Cabling" online course depending on their
job's focus. These courses have 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 or CPCT certification exam.
must complete the Fiber U online course and achieve their Fiber U
Certificate of Completion. 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
Part 2 –
Fiber U Basics Skills Lab - Hands-On Training While Working On
Jobs While the
trainee is working on company projects, they will be exposed to
basic practices of fiber optics and/or premises cabling and begin
developing the skills they need with the supervision of an
experienced installer. To help guide the training in skills, Fiber
U has programs aimed at skills development, the
Fiber U "Basics Skills Labs." online courses.
The Fiber U
Basics Skills Labs are online guides to learning the basic
hands-on skills used by fiber optic or premises cabling techs, 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
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
should keep track of their work using the FOA OJT Log
which can be downloaded from the Fiber U lesson plans.
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.
completion of both parts of the program and at least 12 months of
experience and OJT, the participants will be eligible to take the
FOA CFOT Certification exam online.
Get started - go to the Fiber U programs linked above.