Basic Polygraph Examiner Course
- PE-199 September 10th – November 16th, 2018
- Denver, CO
- $500 non-refundable deposit required – Register
- PE-200 January 14th – March 22nd, 2019
- San Antonio, TX
- $500 non-refundable deposit required – Register
*Course details (such as location, accommodations, etc) provided upon enrollment
The Basic Polygraph Examiner Course is a 400 hour (minimum 10 week) in residence curriculum that is designed around a five day week with eight hour class days. Students must successfully complete weekly written examinations, homework study, a minimum of two hours of polygraph chart time and a final written examination with a practical exam. Students must maintain a test grade point average of 75% and pass the final written exam with at least 75%. Students must pass the final practical exam by successfully conducting a mock crime polygraph examination on a role player. All assignments are required to be turned in prior to successful graduation.
Students are expected to attend 100% of the training hours provided. Significant illness or emergency are the only excused absence. Missed class hours from an excused absence must be made up prior to course completion. A student may not miss more than 10% of the actual classroom presentations for any reason to successfully graduate. A credit for the next course may apply with emergencies.
Following completion of the 400 hour course, students receive a Course Completion Certificate and are graduated to the field for live testing. Students will be required to submit ten (10) actual polygraph examinations that meet professional polygraph standards following graduation. The Backster School of Lie Detection requires student graduates to complete continuing education that meets the APA Standards of Practice following graduation. Following the submission of acceptable field exams, the student will receive an Accredited Graduate Diploma.
History and Development of the Detection of Deception: (8 hours)
Topic Content: Students will learn the significance of “deception” related to human interactions and the development of law. A corresponding review will be provided of mankind’s efforts across history to understand and identify deception through the development of behavioral sciences in criminology and psychology. This topic will highlight the history and corresponding motivations for the development of polygraph instrumentation and question formats leading to current methods for detection of deception. Students will be exposed to the significant historical contributions made by Cleve Backster to the polygraph profession in polygraph industry standardization.
Test Question Construction: (32 hours)
Topic Content: Student will be given instruction in how to write effective polygraph questions. Students will be taught various polygraph question types, including relevant, neutral or irrelevant and comparison question types that could fit within any valid test question formats. Question structure, semantics, case information and testing priorities, along with the potential impact on examinees, will be taught. Students will be expected to demonstrate critical thinking skills in reviewing case scenarios and identifying and prioritizing significance of issues and target selection.
Validated Polygraph Formats: (40 hours)
Topic Content: Students will be taught polygraph formats that have been research validated by the polygraph industry, their historical evolution and their underlying structure for detecting deception. Students will be taught how to apply each format by the nature of the issue under scrutiny, including screening, and specific issue testing. Formats which have been subjected to validity and reliability studies and are published by the American Polygraph Association are taught during this course.
Scientific Testing: (8 hours)
Topic Content: Students will be given eight (8) hours instruction on research and statistics for scientific validity and reliability. Instruction will cover concepts of sensitivity, specificity, false positive errors, false negative errors and statistical significance in how validated formats were researched and supported. Students will be expected to demonstrate an ability to review research articles and explain their methodological strengths and weaknesses.
Mechanics of Instrument Operation: (32 hours)
Topic Content: Students will receive training on the basic components of polygraph instrumentation and the operation of polygraph instruments and computer applications. This training will include equipment maintenance and the trouble shooting of computer operation and polygraph software applications. Students must demonstrate the ability to conduct functionality checks, as well as to place the instrument into operation and collect data from a live subject.
Polygraph Basic Skills Development: (80 hours)
Topic Content: Students will be trained to conduct a complete polygraph examination from integrating case information with proper question formulation and format selection, to conducting a pretest and collecting physiological data suitable for evaluation. Students must be able to complete an acceptable interview, attach instrument components to the examinee, set the polygraph instrument in operation, and collect sufficient test data necessary for evaluation. Students will be required to complete a minimum of three (3) mock polygraph exams, produce a minimum of two (2) hours of total chart time and demonstrate the ability to complete an actual polygraph examination from mock case facts.
Pre-Test Interview and Post Test Procedures: (40 hours)
Topic Content: Students will be taught effective preparations for the numerous components necessary for a successful field interview. Simple methods for conducting the interview will be provided that include; how to take notes, developing rapport, active listening skills, and assessing personality during the interview. Emphasis will be placed on the ability to understand and employ narrative and semi-structured interview methods using various question types and visual route maps. Critical thinking skills and overcoming cognitive bias will be discussed along with structured methods for decision making on truth or deception. A study of the history for false confessions is provided along with best practices in obtaining legal and defensible statements or confessions. Students will be trained to use behavioral intervention in place of accusatory interrogation methods.
Test Data Analysis (48 hours)
Topic Content: Students will be taught to accurately identify physiological criteria that is indicative of arousal from the introduction of a question stimulus. Instruction will include global evaluation and validated numerical scoring techniques that contrast validated relevant and comparison question formats. Familiarity with the foundation for Backster’s development of numerical analysis will be taught. Emphasis will be placed on learning the Empirical Scoring System, ESS, as a primary test data analysis scoring method. The Federal 7 position scoring method will be taught as a second method for evaluation. The student will also be taught the use of computer generated scoring applications that aid in decision making.
Countermeasures: (8 hours)
Topic Content: Student will be given instruction in recognizing physiological data that is intentionally being manipulated and is unsuitable for evaluation.
Psychology and Human Behavior: (20 hours)
Topic Content: Students will be taught the basic elements of human psychology and behavior and their application in the science of conducting interviews, assessing behavior and properly preparing a person to take a valid polygraph examination. Topics of instruction shall address behavioral psychology relevant to the field of polygraph, including learning, perception, personality types, ego defense mechanisms, identification of mental health issues; along with successful interview approaches in managing interpersonal communication and persuasion. Students are expected to demonstrate knowledge of human learning and perception, identify personality types and manage complex issues with assessing people in an interview.
Physiology Related to Polygraph Administration: (20 hours)
Topic Content: Students will be taught how psychological interpretation from the introduction of an applied stimulus can provoke a corresponding physiological response. The student will be required to understand the interaction of questioning, human psychology and the functions of various human physiological systems; including the nervous system, the respiratory system and the cardio-vascular system. Students will be taught the normal function of related physiological systems and how homeostasis, response and relief functions that occur in the body can be identified with proper recording instrumentation. This module is provided at a layman’s level of understanding, but is an in depth lecture requiring understanding of scientific terminology.
Ethics and Standards of Practice: (6 hours)
Topic Content: Students will be trained in “best practices” and ethical considerations for examiners administering polygraphs and conducting interviews. This will include the Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice and Model Policies provided by the American Polygraph Association, along with standards from the American Association of Police Polygraphists, and the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM). Students will be taught an understanding of the development, general purpose, and organizations that provide best practices and ethical guidelines.
Report Writing: (2 hours)
Two hours of instruction will also be provided on report writing and documenting polygraph interviews and evaluations.
Legal Issues Related to Polygraph: (8 hours)
Topic Content: Students will be given an overview of legal standards regarding polygraph and interviewing. These legal standards will include applicable state and federal statutes regarding individual privacy, rights and civil liberties and permissibility of polygraph and admissibility of results or statements. Material will include knowledge and application in both criminal and non-criminal or administrative environments. Material will cover the taking of acceptable and admissible statements, preparing written reports, presenting testimony and compliance with internal or local standards.
Elective Instruction Topics: (48 hours)
Topic Content: The APA permits schools to utilize some training hours for topics that require additional instruction at the school’s discretion. Our school uses this time for a comprehensive class review for the final exam, the final Practical Polygraph Exam, and research writing. Appropriate remedial training that is required for any student will be included during this topic period. Each student will be mentored in researching and writing on polygraph related topics to enhance and polygraph knowledge.
RELATED POLYGRAPH TRAINING COURSES
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- Click for More Information
*Course details (such as location, accommodations, etc) provided upon enrollment
Advanced Polygraph Training: (24 to 40 hours)
Our advanced training courses are more suitable for examiners that have conducted thirty (30) or more polygraph exams. An advanced course may be designed by a client from a combination of our blocks of instruction below, limited to desired course duration. Advanced polygraph training is useful or appropriate, 1) where initial polygraph training received by an examiner is now confounded by field experience, or exposure to contrasting methodologies from other sources, or 2) where more complex methodologies are required for professional growth that were not suitable for presentation or full retention during initial polygraph training. Available topics for an advanced training course include:
- A comparative analysis of polygraph formats and optimum application in the field based on validated polygraph principles
- Overview of current development of Backster school training today
- A comparative analysis of numerical scoring methods paired with the use of computer algorithms for assistance in decision making; test data analysis, reducing inconclusive exams and demystifying countermeasures
- Advanced narrative interview methods with visual route maps
- Research supported diagnostic behavioral cues during the interview
- Behavioral intervention methods for defensible elicitation of information
- Minimizing cognitive bias and avoiding false confessions
- Utility and development of both probable and directed lie comparison questions, and risk based assessment questions for advanced PCSOT application
Post-Conviction Sex Offender Testing (PCSOT): (40 hours)
Topic Content: There is a practical utility in utilizing polygraph to conduct screening of certain groups of individuals. These groups can include supervised clients and offenders to maintain compliance with any mandated program requirements. Students will be taught validated testing techniques and understanding of compliance with mandated requirements of supervision for probation, parole or sex offender treatment programs. This training is designed to successfully incorporate polygraph as a complimentary tool that supports professional treatment programs and supervision programs.
TDLR Continuing Education Course: (as described)
These courses will be for licensed polygraph examiners seeking to meet Continuing Education Hours required by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. Courses will be a one day classroom with instruction that may be used for the current State of Texas Requirement. Course instruction will include topics approved on a yearly basis by TDLR.
VALIDATED INTERVIEW TECHNIQUE TRAINING COURSES
The Validated Interview Technique is a copyrighted product of the Polygraph Institute LLC that is exclusively licensed to the Backster School of Lie Detection. There are three separate core components to this complete forensic interview training program. The first component is creating the foundation for how to interview a person and obtain the information that is being sought. The second component is to be able to actually evaluate what is being said, along with identifying valid behavioral interview cues, to assess truth or deception, or to redirect the discussion. Over the last 50 years, most interview training has taught erroneous cues, such as nervousness or eye contact for detecting deception. Our training for evaluating behavior cues is well supported by psychology research. The third portion, behavioral intervention is used for eliciting information from a subject without employing coercive techniques that are unacceptable in many jurisdictions.
Behavioral intervention is well documented in behavioural psychology and consistent with methods that psychologists use every day in cognitive behavioral therapy. If you want to be able to defend the confessions that are obtained in your interview room, then you need behavioral intervention in your interview training. We offer free expert testimony to defend officers who are correctly employing our training. The Validated Interview Technique was designed from the ground up to be evidence based and what works in the field.
Basic Interviewing Course:
This is a one day course for the beginning investigator who desires to develop interview skills. Course covers interview planning, personality assessment, use of proper question types and some basic differences between truthful and deceptive subjects. Course is ideal for those seeking to improve communication skills and includes the use of Visual Route maps. This course can be adapted for patrol interdiction officers. We show how to avoid looking for unsupported behavior cues, such as gaze aversion and nervous behavior.
Interview and Behavioral Intervention Course:
This an advanced three to four-day course that teaches the Validated Interview Technique. This course will focus on interview planning, a simple field personality assessment, and the correct evaluation of content, vocal and visual behavior cues. We teach a narrative interview style that seeks sensory & memory details in order to increase mental effort for the guilty and lower stress for the truthful. The L.E.E.N. method for behavioral intervention will result in increased information flow from subjects who seem unwilling to tell the truth. Our interactive student training tools are helpful in improving competency in evaluation of real criminal interviews. We address the issue of “False Confessions” and teach effective methods to obtain court defensible statements.
Train the Trainer Course in Validated Interview Technique:
This is a 40-hour course that will teach your investigator to provide in-house instruction on our Validated Interview Technique plus basic instructor competency principles. We license our copywrited training to the student for your agency use on a subscription basis, provide online access to our research library; and provide our training software applications for your agency trainer’s use. (Significant minimum requirements for attendance/certification for this course.)
Practical Field Exercise and Instruction:
We can develop and deliver an elaborate optimum training package with a live-environment exercise as part of any Validated Interview Technique course training. A field exercise can include multiple interrogators, information collection management and analysis; investigative supervision for managers or field practical application for interdiction courses. This type of training can be useful in multi-agency task force operations, disaster management, intelligence collection management, and battlefield or critical incident environments. Sufficient design time should be allowed to meet agency need.