Basic Polygraph Examiner Course
Basic Polygraph Examiner Course Training
- PE-199 Fall, 2018
- Denver, CO
- $500 non-refundable deposit required – Register
The steady growth in the utilization of the polygraph by more and more leading law enforcement agencies has demonstrated the necessity in this country for more schools that teach a thoroughly modern and effective polygraph examiner training course. Cleve Backster was the very first polygraph school director and was the originator of The Backster Zone Comparison Tests: 1) the “You Phase” (Single-Issue), the “Exploratory” (Multi-Issue), and the SKY, (Multi-Faceted) Polygraph Tests. These tests are the basis of modern day polygraph and Cleve was given the title of “Grandfather of the Modern Polygraph Technique”. When Cleve entered the polygraph field in 1948, there was no way to score polygraph tests. It was considered unethical for one examiner to look at another examiner’s charts. Cleve developed the scoring system that is in use today. He developed numerous other concepts still in use. Other School Directors and professionals in the polygraph field called him the “Grand Master”. Cleve perfected polygraph training in his School and modernized it throughout the years with over 193 basic polygraph examiner training courses. Although Cleve passed away a couple of years ago, students of the Backster School of Lie Detection still have the unique opportunity to learn directly from the “Grand Master” through numerous videos of Cleve teaching.
Having completed the Polygraph Examiner Training Course, the graduate will be able to conduct valid basic polygraph tests with enhanced interview and interrogation skills. They will know what human and mechanical factors must be taken into account and what polygraph techniques and procedures to follow because of those factors. The graduate will be able to conduct pre-employment, routine screening, fidelity testing, and specific criminal and inventory-shortage examinations with confidence.
The graduate who is not with a law enforcement agency will be able to enter the field of lie detection. The law enforcement graduate will not only be entering a new field, but will be able to acquire faster departmental advancement because of this training. Post-Conviction Sex Offender Testing (PCSOT), Domestic Violence Perpetrator Testing, Drug Court Testing, and Immigration Testing are additional growing specialty fields in polygraph testing.
Specific Course Data
Students, upon completion of the ten-week residential phase of the course, will be issued a certificate and a letter attesting to the fact that they satisfactorily completed this 400-hour academic residential phase. Successful completion of the overall course will depend on the student submitting a certified list of their first twenty (20) cases completed within a one year period of time immediately following the residential academic phase. During this one year period members of the Backster School staff will be available via telephone or e-mail to address specific case problems which may arise when the newly trained examiner is obtaining field experience.
The class weekday attendance is from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break. Additional instruction is presented during selected evenings and possible Saturdays. Class starting dates are provided on the enclosed schedule.
1) Legal Issues:
Covers basic legal matters pertinent to law enforcement and commercial polygraph usage, especially as it pertains to the Federal Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988. Current aspects of selected state licensing laws are discussed, along with other applicable local, state and federal regulations, including the legal status of court admissibility of polygraph evidence. Strategy regarding expert witness testimony is emphasized and students are given the opportunity to view live and videotape demonstrations. 8 hours
2) Examiner Ethics:
Included is a thorough review of the ethical obligations of the examiner to the polygraph Subject, to his department or client, to other polygraph examiners and to the polygraph profession. Additionally, the student becomes familiar with the aims and ethical standards of organizations such as the American Polygraph Association. Available information regarding state polygraph associations is disseminated. 4 hours
3) History and Evolution of Polygraph:
The selection of practical physiological parameters pertinent to the detection of deception is presented from a historical standpoint. The evolution of multicomponent polygraph instrumentation is reviewed. Technique development is traced starting with the Keeler Relevant-Irrelevant Technique, with emphasis on the important advances provided by the Reid Control Question Technique and by the Backster Zone Comparison Technique. 8 hours
4) Scientific Testing:
Instruction is provided in the field of polygraph regarding scientific testing and research. 8 hours
5) Mechanics of Instrument Operation:
Instruction is provided on the appropriate field utilization of conventional or analog instrumentation (from a historical perspective) as well as computerized polygraph. This includes the activation and operation of the chart recording unit, the galvanic skin response module, along with the mechanical and the electronic pneumograph and cardio modules. Information is provided concerning the design of permanent examination facilities. Improvised field testing facilities are also considered. 16 hours
6) Polygraph Techniques:
The student will be exposed to all APA validated polygraph techniques currently in use. Problem areas will be assessed, as related to the strength and weakness of each of these techniques during various types of field application. 40 hours
7) Pre-Test Interviewing Procedures:
Pre-test interview approaches are presented, particularly as related to the use of the carefully structured Polygraph Examination Notepack and newly developed Pre-Test Interview Form. The student learns effective interview approaches specifically related to obtaining pre-test admissions. The effective use of interpreters is included. 32 hours
8) Post-Test Interviewing Procedures:
Post-test interview / interrogation approaches are presented. The student learns effective interrogation approaches specifically related to obtaining admissions from a subject found deceptive through meaningful interpretation of polygraph charts. 8 hours
9) Psychological Issues:
A qualified instructor reviews selected principles of basic psychology. Appropriate films and video tapes are presented, along with additional information specifically related to the appropriate application of these basic principles to modern polygraph instrumentation and sound testing techniques. 20 hours
10) Physiological Issues:
A qualified instructor reviews selected principles of basic physiology. Particular attention is given to pertinent factors of the three physiological parameters recorded by currently used polygraph instrumentation. These include the respiratory system, the cardio-vascular system and the nervous system. Electro-chemical aspects related to the galvanic skin response are discussed. Appropriate films and video tapes are presented, along with additional information specifically related to the appropriate application of these basic principles to modern polygraph instrumentation and sound testing techniques. 20 hours
11) Test Question Construction:
Using the Polygraph Examination Notepack as a guide, the student is able to effectively select the more reliable target for priority coverage during multi-issue examinations. The Notepack also provides guidelines for the proper formulation of questions relevant to the target selected and for the structuring of the control questions which are so essential to the success of all modern direct-question technique variations. There is emphasis on an effective system for the identification and correction of problems relating to improper control question formulation. The importance of semantics is stressed, particularly during frequent class question formulation exercises. 32 hours
12) Chart Analysis:
The student learns uniform chart markings and is presented a method for uniformly designating test and question types. Objective chart interpretation through use of the Backster numerical evaluation methodology is emphasized and clearly defined chart interpretation rules are presented. The strong and weak points of other systems of chart interpretation are also discussed. An orderly record of chart analysis efforts, as related to field examinations, is acquired through additional instruction in the use of the forms provided in the Polygraph Examination Notepack. 50 hours
13) Counter Measures:
The student will be shown a Counter Measure Demonstration consisting of an actual chart being run on a selected volunteer. Students will be exposed to numerous counter measure cases and charts. Additionally students will be given Mock Exams and will demonstrate various counter measures. 8 hours
14) Information / Reports:
The student will be given digital copies of current consent forms in use as well as cleaned copies of various reports. Students will be required to demonstrate report writing proficiency with actual turn-in of a report regarding their Night Practical Examination. 2 Hours.
15) Mock Examinations:
The student will be exposed to many of the popular polygraph techniques currently in common use. Problem areas will be assessed, as related required to conduct numerous Mock Examinations during the course of instruction. 80 hours
Each course is conducted based on the abilities and skills of the student attendees. As time permits, students will be exposed to as much additional material as possible throughout the 10-week course. These additional hours of instruction generally do not fall within one of the designated parameters established by the American Polygraph Association (APA). 74 hours
17) Field Project:
On January 1, 2014, the American Polygraph Association (APA) added an additional 2-weeks (80 hours) to the residential phase of academic training program. With the additional 80-hours, students will conduct approximately 10 Mock Examinations during the academic phase of the basic polygraph course. The Backster School of Lie Detection has thus reduced the Field Project Polygraph Requirement from 30 polygraphs down to 20 polygraphs required to complete the Full Course of Instruction and receive the final course graduation certificate.