The Polygraph Profession 'WatchDog'

Complaints and Reports

Observations, Questions, and Data from polygraph
examiners, polygraph students, and polygraph clients:

Fall 2008:
a polygraph academy owner is under investigation at the same time
by the Federal government, his state government, his county
law enforcement agency, and his city police department,
all for different crime accusations!

The 5 most common lies told by
polygraph examiners to prospective clients:

1) "I use a computerized polygraph".
(said by some who only have old analogs)

2) "The exam will take X hours".
(Many examiners say double the time it will really take)

3) "I am a Dr./PhD".
(There are several who have diploma-mill titles)

4) "I've done XXXX polygraph exams".
(One was embarrassed in court when found lying)

5) "I've done polygraphs for XX years".
(a timeline shows the lies)

A proper training foundation is better than having to lie.

- - - - - -

Here's a scary fact: most examiners who claim to be 'Certified' get
& keep that title through one small group that requires only that every
year they have 12 hours of education, WITH NO TEST GIVEN;

Yes, that's only one hour per month, with no testing or scoring,
in a high-tech profession that has continual changes & improvements!

Sadly, in an attempt to improve the quality of examiners, one
nationwide polygraph organization has suggested raising it to 15!

If Required Continuing Education is a primary difference between
a 'trade' and a 'profession', then these numbers are a disgrace.

- - - - - -

Why does one polygraph organization, year after year,
only tell of ONE insurance angency to it's members--
when there are many more choices available,
often a better choice for those members?

- - - - - -


Fall 2007:
Polygraph Association Report & Investigation
determines that their own member, a school approved by them,
is committing fraudulent activity and is in violation.

(clipped directly from the XXX Inspector's report, word-for-word, no word changes made.
This came after complaints, a surveillance,
and an XXX surprise site inspection of records).

"Inspector's Conclusion:

Under Director XXX XXXX,
XXXXXXX Polygraph Academy knowingly and intentionally
misrepresented thir current school's training schedule
to purport to comply
with XXX and possibly California educational standards,
while teaching an abbreviated daily schedule.

Had the school continued on the abbreviated schedule,
the course would have been approximately 100 hours short.

After a thorough investigation, this chairman of the
Educational Accreditation Committee makes the following findings:

XXXXXXX Polygraph Academy is in clear violation of
XXX accreditation regulations governing accurately
scheduling and reporting school training schedule.
All records indicate the school was starting
at 08:00AM and ending daily at 5:00 PM.
These records do not accurately reflect the school’s training schedule.

XXXXXXX Polygraph Academy is in clear violation of
XXX accredited training attendance requirements in that the students
were not receiving required time limits of for basic polygraph course instruction

Most seriously, this inspector finds that the
printed syllabus clearly misrepresents the actual schedule
to the detriment of the students and professional training,

this inspector believes that a fraud has been perpetuated on those
relying on the accuracy of the school’s records and representations.

Representing that the XXXXXX Polygraph Academy follows
and adheres to XXX standards of basic polygraph training is
misleading and untrue.

Regarding the statement alleged to have been made by
personnel associated with the XXXXXXX Polygraph Academy,
“if you don’t tell (XXX), we won’t either”.
In a frank discussion with PI XXXXX,
he states that through some discussion with the students,
a statement in some way similar to the one
above may have been made but according to him,
it was not meant in context as it now sounds out of context.
This inspector finds that in or out of context,
the statement was inappropriate if it in any way it referred to XXX oversight authority."

+ + + + + + ++++ ++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Fall 2008: a graduated(?) student working at an 'association approved'
polygraph academy & agency does such poor work that he almost destroys
an examinee's life! A businessman, wanting to clear up his wife's
suspicion of infidelity, suggests that he undergo a polygraph exam.

Unbeknownst to the businessman, the agency assigns him to a recent student
with little experience. After FUMBLING FOR ABOUT AN HOUR to get the
computer polygraph instrument ready (obviously he didn't have the well-refined
and easy to follow step-by-step how-to sheets from!), the
examiner used such (later determined by experienced examiners) poor question
choices and technique that the businessman falsely failed his exam!

Lucky for him, his wife allowed him to be re-tested professionally,
and he easily passed.

The 'Phonies & Hypocrites Club':

Although their website claims
'. . education of the polygraph community . . ',
the truth was shown when a small polygraph
organization recently offered a 2-day training seminar.

The state in which this group is based,
which is also where the seminar was held,
has about a half-dozen polygraph training schools.
Graduates of all of these schools are serving the public today.

Only graduates of two of those six polygraph schools were allowed to attend
the 2-day seminar; graduates from the other schools were not allowed.

Not exactly a 'brotherhood', or a 'dedication to improving the profession'!

If the group had its own telephone number,
(it doesn't; it is far too small and inactive to need one)
perhaps we could call them and help them correct the error.

Note: this same group 'Certifies' its members as long as
they attend just 12 hours of polygraph education per year--
BUT it requires that these 12 hours include attending (and paying for)
this group's own yearly 2-day seminar: or no 'Certification'!

Such self-serving requirements are shameful,
but that group would be forgotten without them.

Such disgusting 'politics' have no part in a profession.

- - - - - -

Materials from some schools still tell that certain breathing
patterns indicate LYING, while newest DACA research shows
that those same breathing patterns do NOT indicate deception.

OUCH- this could be causing some examinees to be falsely failed!

- - - - - -

Nearly 10 clients in the past two years have reported
that one certain polygraph examiner solicited sex from
them in exchange for guaranteed 'passing' of their exam.

- - - - - -

Not all polygraph schools are equal:

Some schools secretly get a $1000 commission each time a student buys
a certain brand of polygraph instrument, so they will not be introducing
you to the other brands! Some might just 'shame' or 'push' a student into
returning his/her new and perfectly-good computerized instrument
and then to buy one that the school gets that large commission on.

Other brands might have better features;
others offer student discounts and financing.

- - - - - -

Lack of integrity:

Examiners are ethically required to not participate in any exam
that they have either an interest in or a conflict-of-interest in.

During discovery in a civil matter, it was learned that the polygraph testing
used in the defense of the management personnel being sued was conducted
by an examiner who was the cousin of the management personnel tested.

Despite the report saying that management was truthful,
the hidden-but-discovered relationship killed all credibility.

The other side used a polygraph examiner with no improper relationship.

That other side won the court case.

NOTE: The offending examiner had graduated
from an 'approved' polygraph school a year before.

- - - - -

Not all polygraph schools are equal:

Recently, a complete review was made of a set
of every hand-out, guide, study-sheet, notes, etc,
--virtually the complete & entire curriculum--
from a recent class of a respected full-term
'approved by an association' polygraph academy;
OUCH- the quality was terrible.

Other than pieces provided by visitors or 'guest instructors',
it was mostly hundreds of pages of dull, black-on-white photocopies,
many off-centered and/or originally printed using an
outdated typewriter instead of modern fonts and printers.
Hard to read; tiny print; boring and 'hard on the eyes'.
Some were dated more than 25 years ago.
And NOTHING regarding the 'business end' of polygraphy.

The depressing lack of color and/or photographs made for
a far-less enjoyable learning situation, and is far-less likely
to ever be seriously re-read in the future. We learn 'visually', and those
materials were sub-standard for a modern learning environment.

Poor materials make for useless later review;
perhaps this is why so many of their students need
to later pay this school for a 'refresher course'.

- - - - - -

Are these two really 'polygraph academies'?!:
In the last year,
one held 2 very small classes the whole year;
the other had only 2 students the whole year!
That's not what their websites say!

From a published report in a legal magazine,
written by a polygraph examiner with 40 years experience,
who taught at the US Government polygraph academy and who now
works with polygraph licensing bureaus and polygraph schools
(and he has been a full-member of (XXX) for more than 30 years):

"The XXXXXXX Polygraph Association (XXX) in all appearance should be
the watchdog of the industry, but it is no more than a trade association
with minimal standards as to what a polygraph school should teach
The XXX scratches the surface with school inspections and student review.
As a matter of fact, the XXX was denied authority by the Department of
Education for academically accrediting polygraph schools, therefore,

the XXX possesses little or no authority to
endorse a post-secondary educational institution".

- - - - - -

Why have so many polygraph 'instructors' NEVER
operated a successful polygraph agency of their own?!
If they never supported their family by obtaining and satisying
polygraph clients, how in the world can they teach someone else to?!
The truth is, almost every polygraph examiner you will ever
meet has NOT ever paid his/her bills with a 'polygraph business':
instead, he/she either has a 'real' job, a pension, or a working spouse!
Why? The work IS there and available-- you just need to direct it to YOU.

- - - - - -

Not all polygraph schools are equal:

A sad 'secret'-

Many good polygraph examiners write terrible reports.

Per the director who approves examiners to receive referrals
for polygraph examinations from the nationwide
polygraph network Polygraph Examiners Of America
(www.peoa.US), they are required to review a sample report
from every member before they can receive a referral.

Some excellent examiners are found to be producing a
final work product, their written report, that is so poor
that it lessens the value of their work. These reports,
read later by other persons, do not reflect the skill of
the examiner. Instead, some wrongly look like amateurs.

Interviewing many polygraph academy
graduates revealed a common statement:
"In school, we didn't spend much time on writing reports".
And some schools spent NO time on report writing!

When a completed examination is later being discussed,
you are not there: your report is standing there for you.
A crummy report could mean that your client wasted the money.

Update, Fall 2008:
This week, another recent graduate of an 'association approved'
polygraph academy advised "I have a client now and I need a report
sample-- the $5000 8-week school I just graduated from did absolutely
no mentioning of how to do a report, not even giving us a single sample"
More proof that some polygraph academy owners know this sad truth:
most $5000 graduates will NEVER have a real polygraph business after finishing.

- - - - - -

Not all polygraph schools are equal:

Again, a complete review was conducted of a set
of every hand-out, guide, study-sheet, notes, etc,
--virtually the complete & entire curriculum--
from a recent class of ANOTHER respected full-term
'but NOT approved by a polygraph organization' polygraph academy.

Far better than it's 'approved by a polygraph organization' competitor!

Yet, it still could be greatly improved,
and NOTHING about operating a polygraph BUSINESS.

(To be fair, most schools are NOT going to teach any polygraph 'business';
they are there to prepare you to work FOR a polygraph examiner).

- - - - -

Just wondering what the difference is:
Why would a polygraph organization
'approve' a 2-week course in South America,
but require FOUR-TIMES that when it is done in the US?!

- - - - - -

Why did the top polygraph examiner in a major police department's
polygraph unit get demoted and lose his supervisor position?
Complaints from examinees and from his own employees!

- - - - - -

Not all polygraph schools are equal:

Many polygraph academy graduates do not know
anything about 'countermeasures' because their 'instructor'
told them that there is "no such thing as a countermeasure-
there are no ways to even try to alter a polygraph's results".
He teaches this despite the strong industry training and
seminars teaching the many cheat-methods being used.

- - - - - -

Not all polygraph schools are equal:

Recently, complaints to a state school-licensing
bureau about another high-volume polygraph
academy produced yells of 'Fraud!'.

This school had been advertising that they were providing
students with even more hours of training than a polygraph organization's
recommended guideline polygraph training hours.

This school had submitted a very specific curriculum of
polygraph training to the state, including exactly how many
hours would be spent on each topic. The state approved this
polygraph class, 'to be taught AS SUBMITTED & APPROVED'.

Instead, it was alleged that:
-- most classroom materials used were VERY poor --
-- there were giving less than 1/3 the promised hours --
-- a past instructor had been told by the school owner:
"Don't teach them so much, or they will become our competitors" --
-- most 'graduates' there never again touched a polygraph --
-- the current 'instructor' had little real-world polygraph experience --
--a past guest-instructor had been told by the school owner:
"Even though the students were only here for a few hours,
write 8am to 5pm next to each of their names" (he refused)--
-- school staff openly slandered competitors and past students --

As most students there were injured in their past jobs,
and attended here only due to the recommendation of their
Workers Compensation Vocational Rehabilitation counselors,
many students --and insurance companies-- were 'ripped off'.

A polygraph organization publicly criticized the school owner,
about the lack of hours, in the polygraph organization's publication.

- - - - - -

Perhaps why the website of a 'bigger' old polygraph organization
had its 'Contact A Member' section down the first half of 2007:

1) While that group had been claiming to have nearly
3000 members, it was revealed by counting each member
in that portion of the website, state-by-state, every state,
that it added up to be far closer to 500!
Where are all the others?!

2) Nearly 1/3 of the contact e-mail addresses were not valid!

Removing the 'Contact A Member' section of their website has
likely cost their dues-paying members many paid examinations.

Update 5/2008:
this section of the website
has been back up for about a year:
a fresh count adds up to about 800,
including from all countries worldwide and
from both private and government,
and including full and associate members!
Again: where are all the other 'thousands of members'?!

It is sad to see these 'figures' about their membership.

Update 12/2008:
Again it is vacant and down, with this message:
"Member Directory:
We're sorry, the member directory is undergoing maintenance."

Update 4/2009:
It is still vacant and down, with this message:
"Member Directory:
We're sorry, the member directory is undergoing maintenance."

- - - - - -

Not all polygraph schools are equal:

Recently, a complete review was made of a set
of every hand-out, guide, study-sheet, notes, etc,
--virtually the complete & entire curriculum--
from a recent class of DACA
(Defense Academy for Credibility Assessment),
the Federal government polygraph academy previously
known as DoD-PI (Department of Defense Polygraph Institute).
Very good - orderly and well-researched. But 'dry'.
No photographs. No color; all black and white photocopies.

And it is based on the type of exams conducted by government
examiners-- where in most situations, the examinee is required
to submit to the exam. So, the DACA materials are excellent for
that, but are lacking in training for the many variables encountered
in private-sector exams (and of course, no polygraph 'business' materials).

- - - - - -

Two more polygraph academies went out of business recently,
both in areas where there is a shortage of private polygraph examiners.
Perhaps if their past students had received better materials, ? ? ? ?

- - - - - -

Don't we need to trust those 'approving' the polygraph school?:
When one school was undergoing their 'approval visit',
they tell that they were told to
"Get rid of Instructor XXXXX; he does not meet our standards;
I can't approve you until you do".
But months later, Instructor XXXXX starts his own school,
and he is approved by the same person!

- - - - - -

Trying to 'fluff up' the 'hours of teaching',
some schools advertise that their schedule
includes TEN to FIFTEEN hours
on 'History of Lie-Detection'.
Do you think that you that you will be a better
polygraph examiner by knowing how the ancient Indians
or the Salem Witch Trials did lie-detection?!!!

- - - - - -

The 2 most common complaints made to school
licensing boards about polygraph academies:
1. Many less class-room hours than per catalog
(if you attend one, keep a log:
they can be ordered to give you back a % of your $!)
2. No 'jobs' that were implied by their staff
(when being 'sold' on the school, they either offer 'placement'
or tell you that gov't agencies will be looking to hire you!)

- - - - - -

Not all polygraph schools are equal:
(Two similar examples-- see what the sad common denominator is!)

1) Recently, a person was ready to sign up to attend
a 'respected' polygraph academy in a major city, one that is
'approved by a polygraph organization'. He had cash ready.

But the school's 'intake person' told him that "there is no work
available for private polygraph examiners, so unless a police
department is ready to send you to this school, just forget it".

This is in a state with a shortage of private examiners!

2) Students at another school in the same major city area were
often told: "There is no work for private examiners; get a
government agency to hire you, as the public is not a source of work",

The sad common denominator:
Both schools are owned by private examiners who have
good business income from the public, and they don't
want their own students taking away their business!

- - - - - -

Earning 'extra credit' at a polygraph school?!
OUCH! Complaints to the school licensing board
about a polygraph academy where the instructor
asks women students to meet him after school in
the motel room across the street from the school
(where he stays during the school week).
He even asked them to bring their own liquor!

- - - - - -

Would you like to be taught by a 'guest instructor'
who smokes marijuana during class-room breaks?!

- - - - - -

Not all polygraph schools are equal:

Regarding the instructor at an
'approved by a polygraph organization' school:

Has he been approved to be an instructor by either that same
polygraph organization OR by the state school licensing board?!

- - - - - -

NOTE: a polygraph organization recently revealed
a disturbing fact: many PCSOT 'instructors' teaching
at 'approved 40-hour PCSOT courses' actually have
litle or NO real-life experience in actually
conducting this type of exam!

- - - - - -

Not all polygraph schools are equal:

Another long-time instructor at a
respected/'approved' polygraph academy
is no longer there, now replaced by a
younger and far-less experienced
-but better- instructor. Wonder why?

Could it be that many reviews completed
by graduating students contained complaints
that the old instructor continually boasted,
actually sometimes many times every day,
that he himself was the best examiner anywhere
while often including insults about his competitors?!

- - - - - -

Injured, and thinking about learning polygraph?
One polygraph academy was said to have been
turned down for 'approval by a polygraph organization'
because of their 'accepting re-hab students'.
Not exactly ADA-compliant!

- - - - - -

Sleazy behavior by a couple of polygraph academy owners:

Some instrument manufacturers sell complete new polygraph instrument
packages to schools for only about $1500, with the promise by the
schools to NEVER sell them; they are super-discounted only to be used at
the school, in hopes that students will like that brand and then order
them for the full regular price of $6000 for the same package.

Well, some schools have ordered several at about $1500 each,
then re-sold some or all of these school instruments to their
students at prices from $3000 to $5000. Unsuspecting students
don't know, until a warranty repair or an upgrade is needed.

Note: some schools are authorized sellers of instruments,
making a $1000 or more commission on each sale, which
explains why they push a lesser brand than the best.

- - - - - -

Don't count on the class dates listed on a school's website:
many schools quietly 'skip' scheduled class dates, entire 8 or 9 week blocks,
when there were not enough students to 'make it worth it';
this often happens AFTER you have paid and have
arranged to be off work for those entire months!

- - - - - -

Why does one polygraph 'instructor' lie to
the excited new students at the 'approved by
a polygraph organization' school he teaches for,
telling them "I charge $2000 for a polygraph exam"?
The truth: he really charges 1/5 of that: $400!
It is improper to lie to students, giving those students
unreasonable expectations about possible future earnings.

- - - - - -

Not all polygraph schools are equal:

Another example of FRAUD when it
comes to advertised hours of training;
BUT this time, it is to deceive the very 'polygraph organization'
who granted them 'Approved by a polygraph organization' status!

This school is advertising that they are providing the
students with the hours of training per the organization's
recommended guideline polygraph training hours.

Admitting to the students that it would be less hours per day
than the posted schedule, they actually told the students:
"We won't tell (that polygraph organization) if you don't"!

- - - - - -

Not all polygraph schools are equal:

Why has one 'respected' polygraph academy
recently quietly been for sale for years;
unsold for years, what event made it's
value suddenly become far, far less?!
- - - - - -

Why are most graduates of full-term polygraph academies,
one year after graduating, NOT in the polygraph business?!

©2009  PEOA.US