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 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.