What is polygraph?

The word polygraph itself means simply “many writings”. What we today refer to as a polygraph is a scientific instrument that is capable of simultaneously recording your body physiology.

The polygraphist scores the polygraph charts numerically. He analyzes the physiological data to the relevant questions that were asked and renders an opinion as to whether or not that the client has given answer that can be supported by research. There are three opinions: Deception INDICATED (DI); No Deception Indication/Truthful (NDI) and Inconclusive (No Opinion).

How long is the examination?

Most polygraph examinations are 3 hours (with a maximum of 4 hours).

What does the polygraph examination consist of?

There are 3 distinct phases of the polygraph examination:

  • Pre-Test: The polygraph examiner will explain your legal rights and the voluntary nature of the examination. There will be a review of background information to assess your suitability for the examination. The examiner will assist you with the formulation of the questions and review how the instrument works (approximate time: 2 hours).
  • In-Test: The examiner will review all the questions with you and conduct an acquaintancce/demonstration test to develop a baseline of physiological responses. Several tests of the relevant issue will then be conducted with a minimum of three tests (approximate time: 40 minutes).
  • Post-Test: The examiner will analyze the polygraph charts and render an opinion which will be forwarded to the client within 24 hours.

What is the fee for examination?

  • Private Consultation: $125.00 (which can be applied for scheduled polygraph examination)
  • Minimum charge for polygraph is $725.00. There is a retainer fee of $225.00 to schedule a polygraph examination with an outstanding balance of $500.00. The retainer fee is non-refundable. Client can cancel one time only with 24 hours notice.
  • Fee for criminal, civil, labour-arbitration and other legal type of cases will be $1000.00

What is included in the fee?

The fee includes the pre-test interview, question-formulation, in-testing, post-test scoring of charts and a written report of the findings.

Will nervousness affect the outcome?

No. It is expected everyone who is undergoing a polygraph examination will be anxious and under some degree of duress. Nervousness will become part of your baseline and will not affect the outcome.

How accurate are polygraph examinations?

There have been several studies over decades, which covered the validity, accuracy and reliability of polygraph examinations. While the polygraph is highly accurate, it is not infallible and errors do occur which may be caused by multiple factors:

  • Uncertified polygraph examiner
  • Mental status of client
  • Vagueness of questions
  • Misinterpretation of the physiological data of the graphs

It is therefore important for clients to find a competent and certified polygraph examiner who has established credibility. In addition, the polygraph examiner should also be a member of an accredited polygraph organization (Canadian Association of Police Polygraph is the only professional association in Canada for polygraph examiners).

Are polygraph examinations confidential?

Yes. The client will specify in writing who they want the findings of the polygraph examination to be disclosed to. The only information that will be disclosed is related to the relevant issue(s).