SELECTING AN EXAMINER
A Basic How To
Selecting a qualified examiner can be a difficult process, considering what is sometimes at stake. We understand the importance of this decision, so we will never refer you to an inexperienced examiner or one which uses a technique not validated by scientific research. If done correctly, polygraph on average is 90 to 95% accurate. Please review the qualifications listed below to learn how to hire the best examiner for your situation.
Primary Training | [read more]
Make sure the examiner has attended and graduated from an accredited polygraph training school. The American Polygraph Association is currently the only accrediting organization for these schools and assures that the schools meet a minimum standard for instruction of primary polygraph students. Don't hesitate to contact the school and/or the APA (www.polygraph.org) for verification of accreditation. All GPN examiners have completed training at accredited polygraph schools.
Overall Experience | [read more]
Make sure the person you plan to hire has sufficient experience. The more polygraph experience an examiner has, both in terms of years in the business and number of total exams, the more likely it is that this examiner can deal with any situation or resolve a difficult testing issue. All GPN examiners must complete a specified number of exams to qualify for membership. We do not refer examiners who have just completed polygraph school.
Type of Experience | [read more]
Some examiners have lots of overall experience, but not so much with the type of case you are presenting. Make sure the examiner has experience with your type of case. All GPN examiners are experienced in a wide variety of testing situations.
Recent Experience | [read more]
Even though an examiner have many years of overall experience, if he/she is not currently testing on a regular basis that examiner's skills will not be as sharp as someone who provides frequent tests. All GPN examiners are actively in the business of providing polygraph testing. We do not accept applications from examiners who only provide polygraphs as a hobby or sideline.
Continuing Education | [read more]
Technology evolves. Polygraph techniques and equipment are updated often, so even though an examiner may have a great deal of experience, if they are not using the latest techniques and validated testing formats the test will be substandard and will not stand up to expert scrutiny. All GPN examiners are required to maintain continuing (advanced) polygraph education.
Profesionall Memberships | [read more]
The only way to stay current in this profession is to belong to a professional organization that sets membership requirements, establishes certification criteria, and provides continuing education opportunities. There are only four credible national organizations: American Polygraph Association (APA), American Association of Police Polygraphists (AAPP), National Polygraph Association (NPA), and the Global Polygraph Network (GPN). We do not recommend hiring an examiner who does not belong to at least TWO of the above organizations.
Licensing | [read more]
Nearly half of the U.S. states require polygraph examiners to be licensed. If your exam is to take place in one of these states, you should make sure that the examiner is properly licensed. If a license is required, GPN has already insured that your examiner holds such a license. If an examiner is operating in a non-licensing state or country, then it is not possible for the examiner to possess or obtain a license in that state or country. You may locate U.S. state licensing boards by clicking here.
Quality Control(QC) | [read more]
Examiners should stand behind their work and should allow you to get a second opinion if you want one. All GPN examiners must provide a complete set of charts (polygrams) from your polygraph upon request so you can have them reviewed by another examiner. A qualified QC examiner must have completed training at an APA-accredited training facility and must be specifically trained in the technique used by your GPN examiner. You should avoid hiring any examiner who is not willing to release his/her work product for QC review.
Equipment | [read more]
Be sure the examiner is using fully-operational equipment. Some examiners try to get by with poorly maintained instruments, with some units barely working at all. Ask the examiner if all the recording channels on his/her polygraph are fully functional. If it is analog equipment, ask how often this equipment is calibrated. APA standards require analog units to be calibrated each time these units are moved to a new location. If computerized equipment is used, ask if the examiner is using the latest software version available. All GPN examiners maintain their equipment to the highest of standards.
Countermeasures detection | [read more]
There is a great deal of literature available regarding countermeasures, or how to "beat" the polygraph. A quality examiner will have training to easily identify when a person is attempting these techniques. Many examiners also use CM detection monitors to help them catch people who attempt to alter their test results. Use of this equipment is now mandatory for all polygraph exams under APA guidelines.
Court certification | [read more]
If you intend to use the polygraph results as evidence, you should select an examiner who has testified and/or been approved as an expert to present polygraph evidence in court. This is not a requirement, however, since all GPN examiners have sufficient qualifications for their exams to be admitted, but this could make the journey to admissibility much easier.
Number of questions allowed | [read more]
Generally speaking, the more relevant questions asked in a polygraph exam the less accurate the results will be. A single-question test is the most accurate exam you can get, and is the exam type used for most polygraph research. Many examiners will allow 3 or 4 questions to be asked in an exam as long as all these questions are on the same general topic. If an examiner tells you that he/she can ask 10 or more questions on an exam, you will be getting what is called a screening test, not a true polygraph. The results of a screening test can not be relied on and must be verified by running a separate exam on each relevant question.
Written reports | [read more]
Do not trust an examiner who will not put his/her opinions in writing. If you hire a GPN examiner, you are entitled to a written report of your exam at no additional charge. This report should include the purpose of the exam, the relevant questions asked, the answers given, and the examiners opinion regarding the subjects truthfulness when giving those answers.
Voice Stress vs Polygraph | [read more]
Polygraph is considered the most accurate method of lie detection today. One of the reasons for this is that the polygraph records various different aspects of a persons physiology, not just one. Different people show reactions in different ways. To look at only one aspect of physiology is to remove a great deal of information the examiner could have used. Voice Stress Analysis (VSA) only measures one aspect of physiology. Even if we accept that VSA can detect stress, that is not an indicator of deception. If a polygraph examiner suggests or encourages the use of Voice Stress technology, that examiners training and qualifications may be questionable. No GPN examiners are currently using or supporting the use of VSA technology. Click Here for more information about Voice Stress validity.