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Minimum Requirements for a Valid Polygraph Examination:
There are certain prerequisites that should be kept in mind when determining whether a polygraph examination is valid.

The Polygraph Examiner:

  • The polygraph examiner must have been trained at a polygraph training facility accredited by the APA. This implies adherence to a strict code of conduct and ethics.
  • The polygraph examiner must be a member in good standing at the relevant associations and federations.
  • The polygraph examiner must be experienced enough to be able to analyse the chart tracings or polygrams and such experience must have been gathered while working under supervision.
  • The polygraph examiner must be independent, impartial and objective.
  • The polygraph technique and test procedure must be explained to the examinee.
  • Polygrams or chart tracings must be assessed manually and computerised evaluation may be used only for the purpose of quality control or to obtain other opinions.
  • The polygraph examiner must be able and willing to testify as an expert witness for HR or legal proceedings.

The Examinee:

  • The examination must be done voluntarily and this must be stated in writing - by signing a consent form.
  • The examinee must be, as far as can be ascertained, free of serious illness.
  • The examinee should preferably, not have been subjected to accusatory interrogation prior to the examination.
  • The examinee must not be under the influence of alcohol or narcotics at the time of the examination.
  • The examinee must have had a reasonable amount of rest prior to the examination.
  • The examinee must have been prepared and notified in advance about the examination

The Polygraph Instrument:

  • The instrument must be in good working order and record at least three channels.
  • At a minimum, the device should record tracings for cardiovascular and breathing patterns as well as electrodermal skin responses.

The Polygraph Technique:

  • An internationally accepted, valid questioning technique must be used.
  • All questions must be thoroughly reviewed with the examinee before the collection of charts takes place.
  • A minimum of three polygraph charts should be recorded during the chart collection phase of the examination.
  • The environment in which the examination is administered should be conducive to proper polygraph testing, i.e. a quiet environment without serious visual or audio interference.