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Program Description



The course of instruction is designed to prepare the student to conduct valid and reliable polygraph examinations for private agencies, law enforcement agencies, either as an employee of the agency or as an independent contractor. Graduates may also be able to work as independent contractors providing polygraph services to the legal profession or the private sector. This is a ten (10) week, four hundred (400) hour course of instruction in the art and science of the polygraph profession.

Course Title Clock // links Modules:

  • Module 1: Ethics, Standards Of Practice And APA Bi‐Laws - 8 hours
  • Module 2: Countermeasures - 8 hours
  • Module 3: History And Evolution Of Detection Of Deception - 8 hours
  • Module 4: Information and Results Reporting - 2 hours
  • Module 5: Law And Human Rights - 4 hours
  • Module 6: Mechanics Of Instrument Operation - 16 hours
  • Module 7: Psychology - 20 hours
  • Module 8: Polygraph Techniques - 40 hours
  • Module 9: Post‐Test Interview - 8 hours
  • Module 10: Pre‐Test Interview - 32 hours
  • Module 11: Scientific Testing - 8 hours
  • Module 12: Test Data Analysis - 40 hours
  • Module 13: Test Question Construction - 32 hours
  • Module 14: Practical Application Of Polygraph / Mock Examinations - 80 hours
  • Module 15: Education And Training Program Elective Instruction - 74 hours

Total is 400 hours - Course Descriptions

- ETHICS, STANDARDS OF PRACTICE AND APA BI‐LAWS (8 hours)

  • Behavioral Objectives: The student will write the relationships between the APA Code of Ethics, the APA Standards of Practice and the APA Bi‐Laws as they apply to the profession.
  • Examination: A written examination shall be administered. The examination will cover the APA Code of Ethics, the APA Standards of Practice and the APA Bi‐Laws. A passing score of 75% or better is required.

- COUNTERMEASURES (8 hours)

  • Behavioral Objectives: The student will learn to recognize patterns in the test data indicative of attempted manipulation of that data.
  • Measurement and Evaluation: The student will complete a written essay examination. The essay will be subjectively graded.

- HISTORY AND EVOLUTION OF DETECTION OF DECEPTION (8 hours)

  • Behavioral Objectives: The student will identify the psychological and physiological doctrines that form the basis of polygraph examinations and the identities and contributions made by those who used those doctrines to ultimately establish the validity and reliability of polygraph examinations.
  • Measurement and Evaluation: The student will complete an objective multiple‐choice / true‐false written examination. A passing score of 75% or better will be required.

- INFORMATION and RESULTS REPORTING (2 hours)

  • Behavioral Objectives: The student will understand the methodology for accurately and objectively reporting factual information to the end user or client.
  • Measurement and Evaluation: The student will complete a written essay examination. The essay will be subjectively graded.

Successful completion of an APA accredited polygraph program is only one of the necessary prerequisites for membership in the American Polygraph Association or any other professional polygraph association. Students should review the membership requirements of the APA or any other polygraph association to determine eligibility for membership, before enrolling. The Academy makes no guarantee, expressed or implied, that the student can gain employment or remain employed as a Polygraph Examiner. The Academy does not offer any placement services. Most polygraph examiners either work for a public agency such as a law enforcement agency or work as an independent contractor in the private sector. The Academy makes no representation as to the salary that is paid to a Polygraph Examiner. Independent contractors set their own fees. The student is strongly advised to research the qualifications, need, and salaries paid for Polygraph Examiners in the area in which the student intends to work.

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A passing score of 75% or better is required.

- LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS (4 hours)

  • Behavioral Objectives: The student will identify the criminal and civil laws of the nation and culture in which he or she conducts polygraph examinations and how those laws serve and protect the rights of the people therein.
  • Measurement and Evaluation: The student will complete a written essay examination. The essay will be subjectively graded. A passing score of 75% or better is required.

- MECHANICS OF INSTRUMENT OPERATION (16 hours)

  • Behavioral Objectives: The student will learn how to attach instrumentation to an examinee and the relationship between the acquisition of data from the examinee and the manner in which it is interpreted by computer program.
  • Measurement and Evaluation: The student will objectively demonstrate his or her ability to attach instrumentation to the examinee and operate the necessary computer software.

- PSYCHOLOGY (20 hours)

  • Behavioral Objectives: The student will learn the concepts of elementary psychology as that discipline applies to those who volunteer to undergo polygraph examination.
  • Measurement and Evaluation: The student will complete an objective multiple‐choice / true‐false written examination. A passing score of 75% or better will be required.

- POLYGRAPH TECHNIQUES (40 hours)

  • Behavioral Objectives: The student will identify the Taxonomy of Polygraph and those polygraph techniques and formats validated by research. The student will learn to apply those techniques and formats to appropriate target issues.
  • Measurement and Evaluation: The student will complete an objective multiple‐choice / true‐false written examination. A passing score of 75% or better will be required.

- POST‐TEST INTERVIEW (8 hours)

  • Behavioral Objectives: The student will learn effective techniques to elicit confessions from those examinees whose test data analysis suggests deception and confirming information from those examinees whose test data suggests non‐deception.
  • Measurement and Evaluation: The student will demonstrate his or her understanding of the post‐ test interview in a one‐on‐one evaluation with a school instructor.

- PRE‐TEST INTERVIEW (32 hours)

  • Behavioral Objectives: The student will learn the communication skills necessary to build rapport with the examinee; provide an overview of the polygraph process; explain the psychology, physiology and instrumentation of the polygraph technique; ascertain the examinee’s understanding and purpose of the examination; select the appropriate test technique and format and to introduce test questions.
  • Measurement and Evaluation: The student will complete an objective multiple‐choice / true‐false written examination. The student will demonstrate his or her understanding of the pre‐test interview in a one‐on‐one evaluation with a school instructor.

- SCIENTIFIC TESTING (8 hours)

  • Behavioral Objectives: The student will learn the basic concepts and history of scientific testing and the statistical methodologies that support those concepts as they apply to the reliability and validity of polygraph examinations.
  • Measurement and Evaluation: The student will complete an objective multiple‐choice / true‐false written examination.

- TEST DATA ANALYSIS (40 hours)

  • Behavioral Objectives: The student will learn the validated principles of test data analysis and apply those principles to data acquired from actor subjects in classroom mock examinations.
  • Measurement and Evaluation: The student will complete an objective multiple-choice / true-false written examination. A passing score of 75% or better will be required. The student will demonstrate his or her understanding of test data analysis in a one-on-one evaluation with an Academy instructor.

- TEST QUESTION CONSTRUCTION (32 hours)

  • Behavioral Objectives: The student will learn the use of validated test questions within validated test question formats and will demonstrate the use of those questions in terms of target issue, semantics and cultural considerations.
  • Measurement and Evaluation: The student will complete an objective multiple-choice / true-false written examination. A passing score of 75% or better will be required. The student will demonstrate his or her understanding of test question construction in a one-on-one evaluation with an Academy instructor.

- PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF POLYGRAPH / MOCK EXAMINATIONS (80 hours)

  • Behavioral Objectives: In a laboratory setting, using previous instruction and learning, the student will conduct mock examinations on volunteer examinees who have participated in simulated crimes and other offenses. During these examinations, the volunteer examinee will not be asked any personal embarrassing questions or questions that do not relate to the mock situation under examination.
  • Measurement and Evaluation: The student will demonstrate his or her understanding of previous instruction in a one- on- one evaluation with an Academy instructor.

- EDUCATION AND TRAINING PROGRAM ELECTIVE INSTRUCTIONS (74 hours)

  • Behavioral Objectives: This block of instruction will reinforce the understanding of previous instruction and understanding of polygraph techniques and their applicability to target issues and the validity and reliability of examiner opinion.



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