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FAQ


Welcome to Fibreplus Frequently Asked Questions section!

Here, you should be able to find answers for most of questions, otherwise contact us

FAQ

Do I need to have previous knowledge to attend the copper or fibre City & Guilds 3667-02?

No previous knowledge is required, this course takes you from the very beginning to the end. You will have both practical workshops and theory to support the practicals to ensure you have the knowledge and understanding to start applying for work or being self employed at the end of the 5 days.

I have previous experience in fibre optics what will the course give me?

To begin with the certification will support your knowledge and understanding which is invaluable in the job market. Not to mention how surprised you will be to gain a greater understanding to the theory, we all appreciate even with experience the greater knowledge we gain from further in-depth understanding. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

How long do the certificates and awards last?

Once you have completed and passed your City and Guilds or BTEC exams you do not need to renew again ever. Although some do wish to renew to the later accreditation in future years to keep up to date with accreditation, changes and techniques within the industry although this is purely a personal choice.

The FOA awards will require a small registration fee each year to keep your certification on their register.  This fee is individual and not per qualification held.

If I want to change trade/sector what makes fibre optic the right choice?

Fibre Optics is one of the fastest growing industries today and the foreseeable future. Driven by all the demands of smartphones, tablets, computers, telephone, broadband (internet), television 4K & 8K, streaming movies and the list goes on. Copper and wireless cannot keep pace with fibre optic with regards to potential performance.

What should I consider when hiring or purchasing an OTDR?

Ensure you have ordered the correct wavelength e.g. 850nm, 1300, 1310, 1490, 1550 or 1625, always considering the future requirements. Ensuring you select the correct dynamic range for Distance/length of your fibre system. Also ensure connector selection for both OTDR adapter and any launch leads you will be using match with the system you are testing.

What are the main differences to consider when purchasing an OTDR?

The main choice you would consider are price and suitability for the present work you do. Specifications such as dynamic range, its ability to cover the distances you are likely to be testing, as well as the test wavelengths available to use would be the main areas to consider.

Next the quality of the results and time for each test. Also consider the units upgradeability and flexibility for present and future use, with interchangeable modules. Although some test equipment appears less expensive sometimes its a false economy due to its fixed nature.

Why do I get bubbles when I splice my fibres?

This is generally down to contamination on the end of fibre.  To avoid this ensure all your equipment is clean at the beginning of the job e.g. cleaver and splicer v-grooves. The simple steps are clean fibre, strip fibre, clean fibre then cleave remembering not to clean after cleaving as you may contaminate a perfectly clean fibre end. The bubble is caused by the heat from the electrodes burning the contamination during the splice where gas from the contamination is trapped.

Do you have list of Hotels, B&B’s and Guest Houses?

Yes, you can download this from the website, but we will email a list of local accommodation with all registrations.

Whats the most important task with a fusion splicer at the start of any day?

Prior to using the splicer it is good practice to carry out an arc calibration.  This adjusts the arc power to the surrounding environmental conditions and ensures the arc is optimum for the conditions you are operating in.

I don’t have a car, what are my options?

We are situated a 5-10 minute walk from the Melksham train station, with many sites of accommodation situated within walking distance of us and the train station.

If you are unable to get a train to Melksham you can get a train to Chippenham or Trowbridge from most locations. From there, we can arrange to collect and drop you off at the train station by providing departure and arrival times, confirmed by email one week prior to course start date.

What is the difference with the City & Guilds 3667-02 and the BTEC they seem to have the same content?

The BTEC Installation, Design & Testing is a Level 3 course unlike the City & Guilds 3667-02 which is level 2.  As such the BTEC takes into consideration the latest changes within technology and the fibre optic industry and covers a wider scope of relevant subject areas.

Why should I attend a Fibreplus fibre optic course?

Our courses are run differently to many others. We focus on ensuring you leave our centre with the practical skills you have trained for. We will not sit you in front of powerpoint for hours on end. Our courses are up to 70% practical ensuring you have the confidence to do the job.

We also have a larger ratio of equipment and staff to each student, as well as the latest in technology which gives you a head start over others when it comes to hands on experience with fusion splicers and test equipment.

 

 

What times are we expected to attend training courses?

Training courses start at 9am every morning, so we prefer you to be there and ready to get started for 9am! Monday to Thursday the typical end of day is at 4:30 pm. Friday can finish early depending on exams etc, however this is not guaranteed.

Can you supply me with information regarding jobs in the telecoms industry after my course?

On our website we have a list of what job titles that are relevant for each qualification, as well as potential job vacancies that we share on our Facebook page.  These will also give an insight into which sites to look at when searching for a job in the telecoms industry.

Is there any pre-reading material to get a head start on my training?

There is a copy of each course training manual available on our website. A physical version of the training manual is allocated to each student at the beginning of each week for the duration of the course.

Will I need to bring anything with me?

All you need to bring is a form of valid ID, a pen, and a notepad. A laptop is not required for your studies as we have computers on site you can use for revision purposes.

Is lunch supplied during training?

Yes, food and refreshments are provided free of charge whilst on a training course.

We also have several supermarkets and a cafe within walking distance if you wish to purchase more and an onsite vending machine for snacks during your course.

Will I need to purchase a cleaver separately when I purchase a fusion splicer?

All of our fusion splicers are sold as a kit and come with a VF-15HB cleaver on purchase.  The D1 cleaver is available as an alternative option.

How long does it take to get my splicer serviced?

Servicing usually takes up to three working days, but during this time a replacement splicer can be hired (or loaned depending on your warranty and availability) from us to make sure you always have equipment available.

 

How often does the equipment need servicing?

How often equipment is serviced depends on the type of item it is. Splicers are annually as a minimum. However, some test equipment is every 3 years. Contact us for advice.

What amenities are close by?

There are several Gyms local to Melksham, as well as a swimming pool and a leisure centre which offers ten pin bowling.

We have a cinema complex located in the neighbouring town of Trowbridge, Historic towns of Lacock and Bath as well as Stonehenge all within an hours drive.

How are we assessed? How many exams do I need to take?

The way you are assessed depends on the course you take.  These can be multiple choice exams, written exams, project work or practical assessment.

The number of exams you sit will depend on the course you undertake.

I need a refresher on using some of the equipment; do you offer a day refresher course?

We offer a free days training with any equipment purchased from us, which is arranged at the point of purchase.

If you have done a course with us previously and wish to re-familiarise yourself with some of the equipment you are welcome to visit us and spend a bit of time with the equipment. Contact us for more information and dates.

How long does equipment take to arrive after being purchased?

Equipment such as accessories and fusion splicers can be delivered the next working day (subject to availability). Some test equipment can have longer lead time as some of these items are made to order due to the ability to customise these to suit your needs.

Contact us for specific product lead times.

Is there on-site parking?

Yes, we do have on-site parking, available for free to any site visitors.

What’s the typical class size of students on a course?

We are able to accommodate up to 14 per class, but typical size is about 6-8 students.

We run courses 50 weeks of the year and so we are able to keep the classes to a good size allowing you to have maximum time with equipment and trainer.

 

What payment options are available to pay for courses or equipment?

For training, we require a 10% deposit and the balance to be paid prior to the first day of the course.

Payment plans are available, however, our standard course prices then apply. Certification will not be released until full payment is made.

 

For equipment, we can offer hire to buy option (subject to status) and credit accounts are available for registered UK companies(terms & conditions apply). Please contact us for further details and application details.

What payment methods are accepted by Fibreplus?

We accept Cash, Credit and Debit Cards (excluding American Express), cheques and various funding sources such as ELCAS.

Do I need to pay before I come on the course?

Yes, the course needs to be paid in full before first day of training.

What days of the week are you open?

We are open 08:00-16:30 Monday – Thursday and 08:00-13:30 Friday.

 

 

Are you open on Bank holidays?

We are open for training on Bank Holidays.

If you have any enquires on a Bank holiday, please email us through our contact us page and we will get back to you following the bank holiday.

Fibreplus does close for holidays over Christmasand New Year. Details of this are posted on our Facebook in December.

Do you have other training locations you can offer?

There are other sites across the UK we are able to use for larger group sizes (min 8), However, standard course prices apply. Our discounted rates shown on our website are for the main centre in Melksham, Wiltshire.

How far in advance do you need to apply for courses?

We can take bookings for a course up to noon on the Friday before a course start date.

However, spaces may not always be available so booking in advance is recommended.

With ELCAS funded courses, they request 4 weeks between handing in your application and the course start date.

What is the difference between a core alignment and cladding alignment fusion splicer?

A core alignment splicer aligns the fibres so that the cores are inline before fusing them together which leads to a lower loss, essential for singlemode systems.

A cladding alignment splicer aligns the cladding of the fibre only which can lead to an offset between the cores if the fibre has irregular concentricity and will lead to a higher loss.  This is not recommended for singlemode systems but is generally acceptable for multimode systems.

What happens if I fail an assessment or exam?

The nature of the practical and theory assessments is, if it goes wrong, then a student is given helpful feedback and advice before trying it again, thus learning from their mistakes.

If a student fails a theory exam then a resit is possible after period of review to give the student the best possible chance to succeed the next time.

How long does it take for my certificate to arrive?

All certificates are collated by Fibreplus from the various awarding bodies.  Once all certificates are received they will be sent out.  This will take approximately 2-3 weeks.  If, however, you have not received your certificates after 4 weeks please contact the office.

Where will my certificates be sent to?

All certificates are sent to the address provided on the registration form although this can be altered during the course.

If the course has been booked and paid for by a company, the certificates will be sent to them.

 

How do I know if there are any places left on the course dates I want?

If the information isn’t on the website then simply phone or e-mail our office and a member of staff will answer any enquires you have.

What happens after I have paid my deposit?

A joining pack will be sent via e-mail containing all the relevant information including travel and accommodation details.  If you do not receive this email please check your Junk/Spam folder first prior to contacting us.

Is the deposit refundable?

Yes if sufficient notice is given.  However, cancellations or amendments within two weeks of the course start date will have incurred costs that will need to be covered as per below.

Before 10 working days of start of course – 10% course fee due

Between 10 and 4 working days of start of course – 50% course fee due

Within 3 working days or less of start of course Full course fee due

Any amendments to course dates or qualification will incur a fee of £125 + vat and any applicable registration fees will be charged.  This includes the rescheduling of 2nd or 3rd weeks of training on multiple week courses.

When are the full course fees due?

The full course fee must be paid up to date before the first day of the course.

Do I have to complete the course in one block?

For some courses it is possible to split the weeks up. We understand that family and work commitments might make having 2 weeks off/away from home difficult so we are flexible to meet our student’s needs. Contact us to find out availability for this.

How much practical/hands-on work does the City & Guilds 3667-02 course contain?

We aim for a balance of at least 70% practical and 30% theory within the recommended learning hours required to cover all the relevant subject areas.

What is the ratio of instructors to students?

We will always strive to ensure there is at least one instructor for every four students.

 

Can I change my course date?

Yes you can.  There is a fee of £125 + vat and any applicable registration fees will be charged for any courses that are rescheduled within 2 weeks of the course start date. This includes the rescheduling of 2nd or 3rd weeks of training on multiple week courses.

I have not received any joining instructions for my course. What can I do?

All course registrations are issued with full joining instructions.  However in some cases these can end up in spam and junk folders, so this would be the first place to check.  Also if you have been booked on to the course by your company the joining instruction would have been sent to the person booking the course and may not have been forwarded on to you.  So it would be worth asking within your company.

Do I need a high level of maths & english to do the course?

None of our courses involve a high level of maths. We recommend you have at least a level 2 in maths and english prior to doing the course.

If you do have any specific questions regarding your maths and english skills, please contact us.

Is it possible to do the courses online from home?

The majority of our courses consist of a lot of practical skills and involve practical assessments. This is also necessary to learn the skills you would be using in your job.

The City & Guilds 3667-03 does have some units that are available as distance learning due to the nature of the qualification.

We do recommend doing these units at our centre as there are less distractions and can be completed within 5 days (per unit)

 

I don’t really fancy going back to school with hours and hours of powerpoints.

At Fibreplus, we aim to have you learning the practical skills as much as possible. The way we usual structure our courses is practical first, then the theory to back it up. This way you are learning in the most hands on way, instead of ‘death by powerpoint’.

I am colourblind. Is that a problem?

We have had many people attend the course who are colourblind. However, please contact us so we can discuss your colourblindness to see if you would still be suitable for the course.

Is there a service package for my EXFO equipment?

 

Yes there is, We offer a service package available on all EXFO equipment, called the EXFO FlexCare. This includes your service and calibration along with any connector replacements if needed for a period of up to six years.

Please contact one of the sales team for further information.

Can I extend the hire I currently have?

 

All equipment hire, can be extended(subject to availablity). To arrange this, just simply email or phone the office and state the period of time in which you wish to extend, please notify us as soon as you know you need an extension.

Do I get a tool kit with my splicer hire?

 

All splicer hire’s come with a cleaver and a prep kit containing Tri-hole stripper, loose tube stripper, kabifix, Kevlar scissors, IPA wipes and Singlemode fibre for Ark calibrations.

How do I return the equipment I have hired?

When purchasing your hire you have the option for us to arrange shipping or collection or you can arrange shipping yourself.

If you have chosen for us to collect your items simply provide us with a shipping collection address before the end of your hire and we will send out couriers to collect the items.

If your arranging shipping yourself, simply return all equipment to;F1 Avonside Enterprise Park, Melksham, Wiltshire, SN128BT

Do I have to return equipment in the same boxes?

 

We do prefer the items to be sent back in the original boxes, especially with the fashion splicers as the boxes are designed to reduce the risks of damage during shipment.

However if items are returned without boxes you will be charged for the cost of packaging + be held liable for any damage caused during shipment.

Do you provide a service package for splicers?

Here at Fibreplus we offer a 5 Year all inclusive service package, this allows you to make a one off payment to pay for all your service/Calibration and shipping costs for the next 5 years,With access to our loan pool (subject to availability) while your machine is in for service, reducing downtime. This will allow you to massively reduce the cost of servicing, but will also insure that your 5 Year warranty is kept valid.

I am having technical issues with my splicer. What shall I do?

You can call our offices and speak to some one in Technical support team on 01225 636041. Please also use the link below to view a video on some basic steps that could resolve the issues you may be having.

Can I apply for funding for a course?

If you are an service leaver or current serving personnel that is eligible for ELCAS, you can use your ELC to assist in funding your course package. We also accept some government funding schemes available to civilians. Please get in touch for further details.

Can I attend a course if I am an international student?

Of course, we host students from all across the globe. Simply enquire with our staff for course details, they can even assist in selecting the right course for your training requirements.


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