The American Polygraph Association (APA) https://www.polygraph.org is recognised worldwide as the leading authority in the training, research and development of evidence based science and practices.
Formed in 1966 by a group of committed professional examiners, including the founder of my own polygraph training school, the late Cleve Backster of The Backster School of Lie Detection (now owned by Limestone Technologies https://limestonetech.com), there aim was to validate polygraph examination techniques to a scientific level and regulate the professional training of future examiners.
Over the years the APA have grown both in member numbers and importantly, in the level of research and development which they commit to in an effort to standardise and regulate the polygraph profession. It is widely accepted that training at an APA approved polygraph school is the Gold standard for students and frankly, from a personal note, no other training provider has any credibility in the public arena unless they are APA approved.
Once a student has qualified through the basic course, they are allowed to join the APA as a member. This membership is extremely important in that it allows a client or examinee to check that the examiner they are dealing with is professionally trained, has committed to continuing their training and conducts test examinations that have been validated by APA research for suitability and accuracy of testing and analysis.
An examiners APA registration can easily be checked by clicking on the “Membership” section of the APA website. Member registrations are renewable annually. In the UK there are two professional membership organisations, the British Polygraph Association (BPA) https://britishpolygraphassociation.org which is the original UK dedicated polygraph association and the British and European Polygraph Association (BEPA) https://www.ukpolygraphassociation.org founded in 2006.
Membership of the APA is a prerequisite to obtaining membership with either of the UK organisations and both associations have adopted the APA constitution and code of ethics for all examiners. In 2020 the BPA will be hosting their first APA approved advanced training course in the UK provided by our good friends at PEAK Credibility Assessment Training https://www.peak.com from America.
If you are considering either commissioning or taking a polygraph examination in the UK we always recommend that you check the registrations of the examiners on all of the above websites. If an examiners name is not listed then you need to reconsider who you are going to instruct.
It is also important to point out that membership of the APA, BPA or BEPA does not accredit any examiner as a polygraph trainer. Trainer’s accreditation is provided only by the APA. I am greatly concerned that clients can be misled by companies who advertise on the web. There are a number of advertisers who are not APA, BPA or BEPA registered providers, yet their websites make no mention of that fact and instead adorn their adverts with made up logos and false claims.
Agencies masquerade as polygraph companies and charge a hidden referral fee and their examiners are not members of either British association. You have to ask yourself why not. If you were a professional wouldn’t you want membership of the only professional associations in the country you work in? What do they have to hide? Recently adverts have appeared on the internet advertising on-line polygraph training courses, where students will be awarded “Master” status. This is a completely factitious title.
The APA has researched the online training model as a way of delivering polygraph training and has a clear policy that it is not a suitable method. No one who “graduates” from this type of training provider will be accepted as professionally trained and will be refused membership of the APA, BPA and BEPA. Our aim is to provide a professional and empathetic service to our clients. Our registrations are in the public domain in all three of the above websites for all to check. When you contact us you will speak to a qualified examiner and not just an agency call handler.
Whoever you enquire or book with, ask for the name of the examiner and check their memberships out using the above links. Never part with your money and book until those checks are done. Our contacts include every professional examiner in the UK, APA approved trainers and both former and current Directors of the APA itself. Our advice is free and we encourage anyone considering taking a polygraph test to call us.
We never pressure a caller to book and we are more than happy to answer any of your polygraph related questions.