Europolygraph European Polygraph Association Practice Standards

(Adopted on December 14, 2023)

1. PREAMBLE

We, the members of the European Polygraph Association, in our commitment to excellence and ethics in the field of polygraphy, establish this preamble for our practice standards. Recognizing the diversity and richness of knowledge and techniques in our profession, we firmly declare our independence and distinction from any monopoly claimed by other associations in this professional sector.

Our focus is centred on embracing and fostering the diversity of methods, innovation in techniques, and adaptation to the various cultural and legal contexts of Europe. We commit to promoting an environment of open learning and practice, where all voices and perspectives are valued and considered.

At EPA, we strive to maintain the highest standards of professional integrity, accuracy in polygraph assessment, and respect for the rights of the examinees. This preamble reflects our unwavering commitment to excellence, independence, and constructive collaboration within the international polygraph community.

Through this preamble, we reaffirm our mission to advance the practice of polygraphy in Europe and beyond, always maintaining a spirit of mutual respect, professionalism, and dedication to the truth.

1.1 EUROPOLYGRAPH'S STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

Europolygraph, in its commitment to promote the highest accuracy in decisions related to Testimonial Credibility Assessment, recognizes the polygraph as an essential diagnostic tool. With this purpose, Europolygraph establishes the following Practice Standards for its members:

1.1.1 Commitment to Accuracy and Ethics

It is imperative to ensure that all polygraph assessments are conducted with the utmost accuracy and adherence to ethical principles. This involves a continual commitment to updating and improving the methodologies and techniques used.

1.1.2 Compliance with Legal Regulations.

All assessments must be carried out in strict compliance with local, state, and European Union regulations and laws. This ensures that our practices align with current legal frameworks and respect the rights of individuals.

1.1.3 Adherence to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In accordance with Article 20.2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “No one may be compelled to belong to an association,” Europolygraph underscores the importance of freedom of association. This reflects our respect for individual autonomy and our opposition to any form of coercion or undue pressure.

1.1.4 Education and Continuous Training.

Promoting ongoing education and training among our members to ensure that they remain at the forefront of polygraph practices, with a particular focus on technological innovations and advances in the field of psychophysiology.

1.1.5 Collaboration and Open Dialogue.

Promoting an environment of collaboration and open dialogue among polygraph professionals, both within Europe and on the international stage, to enrich our practice through the exchange of knowledge and experiences.

With this purpose, Europolygraph is dedicated to leading with integrity, professionalism, and an unwavering commitment to truth and justice, ensuring that the practice of polygraphy always reflects these core values.

1.2 DEFINITIONS

1.2.1 Definition of Polygraph Examination or Assessment

A Polygraph Examination or Assessment, in the context of Europolygraph’s practice standards, is a structured and scientific process that measures and records various physiological responses of the human body while presenting the individual with a series of questions. This process aims to determine the truthfulness of the answers given by the individual. The key characteristics of a polygraph examination are as follows:

Physiological Measurement: It involves the collection of physiological data such as heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and skin conductance. These measures are taken by a polygraph, an instrument that continuously records the physiological responses of the body.

1.2.1.2 Structured Questions:

During the examination, specific and carefully formulated questions are asked. These questions may be relevant to the matter under investigation or control questions to compare responses.

1.2.1.3 Response Analysis:

The recorded physiological responses are analyzed to identify patterns that may indicate truthfulness or deception in the individual’s answers.

1.2.1.4 Controlled Environment:

The examination is conducted in a controlled environment designed to minimize distractions and ensure the accuracy of measurements.

1.2.1.5 Professionalism and Ethics:

It must be administered by a qualified and trained examiner who operates under strict ethical and professional principles, always respecting the dignity and rights of the examinee.

1.2.1.6 Legal Compliance and Human Rights:

The assessment must be conducted in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including respect for fundamental human rights, such as the examinee’s voluntary consent.

1.2.1.7 Confidentiality:

The information obtained during the examination is handled with the utmost confidentiality and is used only for the purposes established and agreed upon in advance.

In summary, a Polygraph Examination or Assessment according to Europolygraph is a rigorous procedure based on scientific and ethical principles, intended to assess the credibility of an individual’s responses, while always maintaining respect for their dignity and rights.

1.2.2 Voluntariness

Within the framework of Europolygraph, it is established that every Testimonial Credibility Assessment using the polygraph will be conducted exclusively under the principle of voluntariness. This implies that no individual will be coerced or forced to participate in such an assessment. Before commencing the process, it is essential to obtain the informed and written consent of the subject.

This consent will be granted after the examiner has provided a detailed preamble, which will include an explanation of the purpose of the assessment, a clear description of how the polygraph instrument functions, and an explicit statement of the individual’s right to withdraw from participation at any point during the session.

It is crucial that the subject fully understands that their participation is voluntary and that they have the freedom to withdraw their consent at any stage of the process without negative consequences or retaliation. This approach reflects Europolygraph’s commitment to ethical principles of respecting individual autonomy, dignity, and human rights.

1.2.3 Probative Examination

A Probative Examination is a specific type of polygraph examination conducted for a clearly defined and mutually agreed-upon purpose in writing by all parties involved. The focus of this purpose is to provide a diagnostic opinion that can be used as evidence in a pending legal proceeding.

In a Probative Examination, the polygraph examiner conducts the assessment with the goal of determining the truthfulness of certain statements or declarations relevant to the specific legal case at hand. The findings and conclusions derived from this examination are intended to be presented in a legal context and may influence the course of justice.

It is essential that the Probative Examination is conducted while maintaining the highest standards of professionalism, accuracy, and ethics, given its potential impact on legal outcomes. Additionally, it must ensure that the process strictly adheres to applicable legal and ethical regulations while respecting the rights of the examinees and the integrity of the judicial system.

This type of examination demands meticulous preparation, documentation, and transparency in its execution, ensuring that all parties involved have a clear understanding of its purpose, methodology, and the potential implications of its results.

1.2.4 Paired Testing Examination

Polygraph examinations conducted in parallel on two or more individuals by different examiners who are mutually blind to the results of the other tests regarding a single central fact in dispute, of which all examinees are expected to know the truth. Paired testing or matched testing is used by voluntary agreement between testifying parties to resolve disputed facts.

1.2.5 Peer-Conducted Testing Examination (Paired Testing)

A Peer-Conducted Testing Examination, commonly known as Paired Testing, is a methodology used in the field of polygraphy to enhance the accuracy and reliability of assessments. This approach involves conducting two or more polygraph examinations under similar conditions, with the same or different subjects, to compare and contrast the obtained results.

1.2.6 Key Characteristics of Paired Testing

1.2.6.1 Results Comparison

Examinations are conducted in a way that allows the results to be directly compared. This may involve administering the same questions to different individuals or repeating the same examination at different times with the same subject.

1.2.6.2 Variable Control

Ensuring that the conditions under which the examinations are conducted are as consistent as possible. This includes aspects such as the environment, the type of questions, and the polygraph application methodology.

1.2.6.3 Verification Objective

The primary purpose of Paired Testing is to verify the consistency and reliability of responses. This is particularly useful in situations where the results of a single examination may be insufficient or inconclusive.

1.2.6.4 Statistical Analysis

In some cases, statistical techniques can be applied to analyze the results and determine the likelihood of truthfulness or deception based on comparisons between the tests.

1.2.6.5 Use in Complex Investigations

Paired Testing is especially valuable in complex investigations or cases where a higher level of certainty about the truthfulness of obtained information is required.

1.2.6.7 Ethics and Consent

As with any polygraph examination, it is essential to obtain informed consent from the subjects and adhere to strict ethical and legal standards. The Paired Testing Examination represents an effort to enhance accuracy and validity in polygraph assessment, providing a more robust and detailed approach to interpreting the results.

1.3 THE POLYGRAPH AS AN INVESTIGATIVE

1.3.1 Purpose:

The Investigative Polygraph Examination is a specific type of polygraph test focused on assisting and complementing an ongoing investigation. This type of examination is useful for inquiring about specific incidents, clarifying information, or verifying details within an investigative context.

1.3.2 Characteristics:

The examiner may not have prior detailed knowledge of the specific case. The results are generally not intended to be used as evidence in legal proceedings.

1.3.3 Applications:

It can be used in internal corporate investigations, criminal investigations where an immediate legal process is not expected, or to clarify specific allegations.

1.3.4 Examiner Independence:

The examiner conducts the examination without prior detailed knowledge of the case, which helps maintain objectivity and reduces potential bias in interpreting the results.

Different types of polygraph examinations or tests can be categorized based on their purpose into three main categories: Investigation, Diagnostic, and Personnel Selection or Screening. Below, each of these types is described.

1.3.4 Investigative Polygraph

The Investigative Polygraph Examination is a specific type of polygraph test focused on assisting and complementing an investigation. This type of examination is primarily used to inquire about specific incidents, clarify information, or verify details within an investigative context.

 The Investigative Polygraph Examination is a valuable tool for investigators as it provides a way to verify information and gain clarity on crucial aspects of an investigation, significantly contributing to the truth-seeking process.

1.3.4.1 Key Characteristics of the Investigative Polygraph Examination:

Investigation Focus: This examination is geared towards gathering relevant information for an ongoing investigation, which can be of a criminal, corporate, or any other nature requiring fact verification or clarifications.

1.3.4.2 Specific Questions:

The questions formulated during the examination are directly related to the incident or situation under investigation. These questions are carefully designed to elicit specific answers that can shed light on the case.

1.3.4.3 Not Geared Towards Judicial Evidence:

Unlike probative examinations, the results of an investigative polygraph examination are not necessarily intended to be presented as evidence in a legal proceeding. Its primary purpose is to assist in gathering information for the investigation.

1.3.4.4 Confidentiality and Ethics:

It is conducted under strict standards of confidentiality and professional ethics. The examiner must ensure that informed consent is obtained from the subject and that their rights are respected throughout the process.

1.3.4.5 Use in Various Contexts:

It can be employed in various settings, such as internal corporate investigations, preliminary criminal investigations, or to clarify allegations or claims in a variety of situations.

1.3.4.6 Response Analysis:

The subject’s physiological responses are recorded and analysed to identify indicators of truthfulness or deception in relation to the questions asked.

1.3.5 Diagnostic Examination

Purpose: A Diagnostic Examination in a Polygraph Test is a procedure specifically designed to assess and establish the truthfulness of an individual’s statements or claims in the context of an investigation. This type of examination focuses on providing a detailed evaluation and expert opinion regarding the credibility of the subject’s responses.

Applications: Such examinations are crucial in investigative processes and are commonly used in legal proceedings as part of the assessment of witnesses or suspects. They are also employed in investigations where an expert opinion on the credibility of certain claims is required, playing a significant role in case resolution and the pursuit of justice.

1.3.5.1 Key Characteristics of the Diagnostic Examination in a Polygraph Test:

The Diagnostic examination focuses on obtaining answers to specific questions related to an event or statement. These examinations require detailed preparation and a meticulous approach.

1.3.5.2 Truth Focus:

The primary objective is to determine the authenticity of the subject’s statements related to a specific event or situation. The goal is to identify indicators of truth or deception.

1.3.5.3 Specific and Structured Questions:

Questions are formulated directly related to the subject matter of the investigation. These questions are carefully designed to be clear, direct, and relevant to the matter being investigated.

1.3.5.4 In-Depth Analysis:

A detailed analysis of the subject’s physiological responses to the questions posed is conducted. This analysis seeks patterns that may indicate stress or deception or confirm truthfulness.

1.3.5.5 Use in Investigative Contexts:

It is often used in criminal investigations, corporate investigations, or any other scenario where an accurate assessment of truth in specific statements is required.

1.3.5.6 High Standard of Accuracy:

Given its use in contexts where consequences can be significant, the diagnostic examination requires a high level of precision and reliability.

1.3.5.7 Consent and Ethics:

As with all polygraph tests, obtaining informed consent from the subject and adhering to strict ethical and professional principles is essential.

 1.3.6 Polygraph Personnel Selection or Screening Examination

 1.3.6.1 The Polygraph Personnel Selection or Screening Examination is a procedure used to assess the suitability of candidates for specific job positions, especially those that require high levels of trust and security. In this type of examination, the polygraph is used as a diagnostic tool to gather relevant information about the candidate that may not be easily accessible through traditional selection methods.

 Polygraph Personnel Selection or Screening Tests provide a valuable tool for employers in sectors where reliability and security are of utmost importance. It adds an additional layer of security to the selection process, helping ensure that selected candidates are the most suitable for critical roles.

This type of polygraph examination is becoming increasingly common in certain sectors, offering organizations a deeper way to assess the suitability of potential employees for positions of high responsibility and trust.

1.3.6.2 Key Characteristics of the Polygraph Personnel Selection or Screening Examination:

1.3.6.3 Suitability Assessment:

The primary objective is to determine if the candidate possesses the qualities, integrity, and reliability required for the position. It focuses on aspects such as honesty, a history of misconduct, and adherence to ethical standards. 

1.3.6.4 General and Integrity-Oriented Questions:

The questions formulated during the examination are generally broader and may include topics related to work history, criminal background, substance use, and other ethical issues relevant to employment.

1.3.6.5 Occupational Risk Prevention:

It is used as a tool to mitigate risks by avoiding the hiring of individuals who may pose a danger or risk to the organization, especially in sensitive or high-security roles.

1.3.6.6 Compliance with Legal and Ethical Regulations:

The examination must be conducted in compliance with applicable labor laws and regulations, as well as ethical principles, ensuring that the process is fair and non-discriminatory.

1.3.6.7 Confidentiality and Professionalism:

Confidentiality of the obtained information is guaranteed, and it is handled with the highest level of professionalism and ethics.

 1.3.6.8 Informed Consent:

Obtaining informed consent from the candidate is crucial, clearly explaining the purpose of the examination, its voluntary nature, and the use of the results.

 The Polygraph Personnel Selection or Screening Examination is a valuable tool for employers in sectors where reliability and security are of utmost importance. It provides an additional layer of security in the selection process, helping ensure that selected candidates are the most suitable for critical roles.

1.4 DATA ANALYSIS IN POLYGRAPH TESTING

It refers to any structured method, whether manual or automated, for evaluating and interpreting the physiological data recorded in terms of probabilistic uncertainty margins and/or categorical test decisions concerning the truthfulness of the examinee or concealed knowledge. The decisions for diagnostic and selection examinations include:

1.4.1 Diagnostic Opinion

A professional opinion based on the results of a polygraph technique that meets the criterion validity requirements for evidential tests or paired tests. Deception test results may be described in terms of statistical significance and are typically reported using the terms Deception Indicated (DI), No Deception Indicated (NDI), Inconclusive (INC), and No Opinion (NO). Recognition test results are typically reported using the terms Recognition Indicated (RI), No Recognition Indicated (NRI), or No Opinion (NO).

1.4.2 Selection Opinion

A professional opinion based on the results of a polygraph technique that meets the requirements for screening purposes; typically reported using the terms Significant Response, No Significant Response, Inconclusive, or No Opinion (SR, NSR, INC, or NO).

1.5 POLYGRAPH TECHNIQUE

 1.5.1 A polygraph technique is a methodological set that includes:

 1.5.2 Polygraph Test Format:

This format is based on a published and detailed description of the procedures for administering the test. These procedures are aligned with evidence-based principles, focusing on the appropriate selection of the target, meticulous construction of test questions, and precise administration.

 1.5.3 Test Data Analysis Model:

It includes a published description of how the data collected during the test are analysed. This analysis covers relevant physiological characteristics, data transformation methods, decision rules applied, and normative data for result interpretation.

 1.5.4 Application in Personnel Selection:

Polygraph techniques intended for personnel selection must be supported by at least two published, original, and replicated empirical studies that demonstrate a significantly higher accuracy rate than chance. Additionally, these techniques must be applied within a “successive hurdles” approach. This involves conducting additional tests with validated methods in cases where the initial results of the selection test are inconclusive or indicate potential issues.

 1.5.5 The Polygraph Examiner:

Refers to a professional who has met the training and education requirements specified in Europolygraph’s statutes. The examiner must possess the necessary competencies and skills to correctly apply polygraph techniques, ensuring the integrity and accuracy of the process.

1.6 POST-CONVICTION SEX OFFENDER TESTING (PCSOT) POLYGRAPH EXAMINER

A Post-Conviction Sex Offender Testing (PCSOT) Polygraph Examiner is a highly specialized professional in the administration of polygraph examinations to individuals convicted of sexual offenses. This type of examiner plays a crucial role in the criminal justice system and in treatment and rehabilitation programs, as their assessments are used as part of the conditions for post-conviction treatment, parole, probation, or supervised release of convicted offenders.

1.6.1 Key Characteristics of a PCSOT Examiner:

 1.6.1.1 Specialization in Sexual Offenses:

The examiner possesses in-depth and specific knowledge about the nature of sexual offenses, enabling them to formulate relevant questions and assess responses effectively.

 1.6.1.2 Specialized Training:

They have completed advanced and specialized training that meets the standards set by Europolygraph. This training includes, but is not limited to, aspects related to sexual criminology, specialized interview techniques, and ethical handling of examinees. 

1.6.1.3 Role in Supervision and Rehabilitation:

Their work is essential for monitoring compliance with conditions imposed in supervised release or treatment programs, providing an additional tool for assessing the risk and progression of the offender.

 1.6.1.4 Ethics and Confidentiality:

They operate under strict ethical principles, ensuring confidentiality and respect for the rights of examinees, while maintaining a balance between public safety and the rehabilitation of the individual.

 1.6.1.5 Collaboration with Authorities and Professionals:

They work in coordination with judicial authorities, probation officers, and mental health professionals, contributing valuable information for decision-making in case management.

1.7 RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POLYGRAPH EXAMINER

1.7.1 Continuing Education:

Continuing education is an essential pillar in the development and maintenance of professional competence in any discipline. In the dynamic and technically advanced field of polygraphy, the need for continuing education is particularly critical for several reasons:

 1.7.1.1 Keeping Up with Technological and Methodological Advances:

Polygraphy, as a field that integrates aspects of psychology, physiology, and technology, is constantly evolving. Continuing education allows professionals to stay current with the latest developments, techniques, and tools, ensuring effectiveness and accuracy in their practice.

 1.7.1.2 Compliance with Ethical and Professional Standards:

Continuing education is fundamental to ensuring that polygraph examiners continue to practice according to the highest ethical and professional standards. Through regular training, professionals can refresh and strengthen their understanding of ethical principles and best practices in their field.

 1.7.1.3 Skill and Knowledge Enhancement:

Ongoing training enables polygraph examiners to improve their skills in key areas such as question formulation, data interpretation, and handling complex or sensitive situations. This translates to greater effectiveness and professionalism in their work.

 1.7.1.4 Adapting to Legal and Regulatory Changes:

Laws and regulations that impact the practice of polygraphy may change. Continuing education helps professionals stay informed about these changes and adapt their practices accordingly.

 1.7.1.5 Public Recognition and Trust:

Professionals who engage in continuing education demonstrate their commitment to excellence and professional ethics. This not only enhances their credibility and reputation but also strengthens public trust in their work.

 1.7.1.6 Personal and Professional Development:

Continuing education is an investment in personal and professional development. It helps examiners grow in their careers, expand their competencies, and be prepared for future challenges and opportunities.

In summary, continuing education is not merely a formality but a vital necessity to maintain relevance, competence, and quality in the professional practice of polygraphy.

1.7.2 Representation of Credentials:

Examiners must accurately and honestly represent their membership category in Europolygraph, their academic qualifications, any professional licenses, and their certification status. This transparency is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the field and the public’s trust in their services.

1.7.3 Examination of the Examinee:

It is essential for the examiner to make the necessary efforts to determine if a person is a suitable candidate for undergoing a polygraph examination. This includes conducting basic inquiries into the physical and psychological condition of the examinee, always within the limits allowed by the law. The examiner should be attentive to any observable or known mental, physical, or medical conditions and consider these factors when conducting and evaluating the examination. This practice ensures not only the validity and reliability of the examination results but also the well-being and rights of the examinee.

1.8 CALIBRATION AND MAINTENANCE

Regular calibration and proper maintenance of the instruments used in polygraph testing are essential to ensure their accuracy and reliability. Polygraph examiners must follow the guidelines and procedures provided by the manufacturer for instrument calibration and maintenance, and they must keep a detailed record of these procedures.

1.8.3 Data Recording:

During a polygraph test, it is crucial to record all relevant data accurately and comprehensively, including respiration patterns, electrodermal activity, cardiovascular activity, and motion sensitivity. These records are used to analyse the subject’s physiological responses and assess the truthfulness of their responses.

1.8.4 Data Storage:

Data recorded during a polygraph test must be securely stored in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Access to this data should be restricted to authorized individuals and protected against any misuse or unauthorized disclosure.

1.8.5 Data Confidentiality:

Information obtained during a polygraph test is considered confidential and must be handled with the utmost care and respect for the examinee’s privacy. The data should not be used for any purpose unrelated to the previously agreed-upon polygraph assessment, and it should be securely destroyed once it is no longer needed.

In summary, the use of appropriate instrumentation, regular calibration and maintenance, accurate data recording, and data confidentiality are critical components to ensure the integrity and effectiveness of polygraph tests. These aspects are essential for maintaining trust in the polygraph assessment process and the obtained results.

1.8.1.5 Other Physiological Data:

Although it is possible to record other types of physiological data during the test, these should not be used to draw definitive conclusions unless their validity has been supported by replicated and published research.

1.8.1.6 Continuous and Readable Records:

Physiological records obtained during each test must be continuous and of sufficient amplitude to ensure they are easily readable, both for the examiner conducting the test and for any other examiner who reviews them later.

1.8.2 Test Location and Conditions

1.8.2.1 Controlled and Distraction-Free Environment:

It is essential that polygraph tests are conducted in a controlled environment designed to be free from distractions. This includes the removal of sound, acoustic, and visual interruptions that could influence the test results or disrupt the examinee’s concentration. A controlled environment ensures the accuracy of the records and helps maintain the integrity of the test.

1.8.2.2 Restrictions on Media:

Polygraph examiners are prohibited from conducting polygraph tests during public broadcasts, such as radio and television programs, and from issuing opinions on the truthfulness of examinees based on these tests. It is imperative that examiners ensure that any representation of polygraph tests in such media is clearly conveyed as entertainment for viewers. In cases where opinions are generated based on polygraph results, it is crucial that the tests have been conducted in a controlled and appropriate environment and not during the program’s broadcast. This regulation aims to preserve the seriousness and accuracy of polygraph practice, preventing misunderstandings or trivialization of the process in entertainment contexts.

1.8.3 Pre-Test Preparation

1.8.3.1 Discussion of Topics and Problem Areas:

Before conducting a polygraph examination, the examiner shall take the necessary time to identify and thoroughly discuss the relevant topics of the examination with the examinee. This includes addressing and clarifying any potential problem areas that may arise during the test, ensuring that both the examiner and the examinee have a clear understanding of the issues to be addressed.

1.8.4 Pre-Polygraph Test Practices

1.8.4.1 Examinee Identification:

The examiner will gather sufficient information to accurately identify the examinee before commencing the examination. This is crucial to ensure the validity and integrity of the process.

1.8.4.2 Informed Consent Obtained:

It is imperative to obtain informed consent from the examinee before conducting the test. This consent should be acquired after providing an overview of the polygraph process. This includes information about the polygraph instrumentation and sensors, the potential recording of video/audio during the examination, the specific topics to be discussed, the requirements for cooperation during the test, and the policy regarding the handling and disclosure of information and results to relevant professionals.

1.8.4.3 Question Review:

The examiner will review and discuss all the test questions with the examinee before beginning to record physiological responses. This ensures that the examinee fully understands each question and reduces the possibility of confusion or misunderstandings during the examination.

1.8.4.4 Examiner’s Neutral Conduct:

The examiner is committed to conducting the examination in a neutral and objective manner, avoiding showing or expressing any bias or prejudice regarding the examinee’s truthfulness before completing the test. This neutrality is essential to maintain impartiality and objectivity throughout the entire process.

1.8.5 Testing in the Polygraph Context

1.8.5.1 Use of Validated and Evidence-Based Techniques:

Polygraph examiners who are members of Europolygraph must employ testing techniques that are validated and based on scientific evidence. A testing technique will be considered valid if it is supported by research conducted according to recognized research standards. In cases where deviations from the protocol of a validated technique are made, these deviations must be justified and documented in writing.

1.8.5.2 Promotion of Research and Development:

These standards should not prevent examiners and researchers from exploring and developing improved methods. Techniques that do not meet established validation criteria will be considered experimental methods.

1.8.5.2 Use of Experimental Techniques:

Examiners using experimental techniques must comply with applicable laws related to research on human subjects. Additionally, both the examinee and the requesting party must be informed about the use of any experimental technique. Results obtained through experimental techniques in practical contexts should not be used in isolation to make diagnostic or selection decisions.

1.8.5.3 Use of Supportive Methodologies:

The use of other non-validated supportive methodologies, such as the Peak of Tension (POT) test, is allowed. However, these non-validated techniques should not be used in isolation to make selection or diagnostic decisions.

1.8.5.4 Knowledge Testing:

A knowledge test must be conducted for all diagnostic, evidential, paired testing, initial selection, and initial research examinations.

1.8.5.5 Intervals Between Questions:

Questions related to truth and deception assessment must be spaced at intervals of no less than 20 seconds from the start of one question to the start of the next.

1.8.5.6 Standardization of Marks and Annotations:

Examiners must use standardized marks and annotations on the charts, utilizing the tools available on all digital polygraphs.

1.8.5.7 Audio and Video Recordings:

Audio and video recordings of all phases of the examination must be maintained for at least one year, especially when required by government agencies or official bodies. In private investigations, local data protection laws must be observed, and recordings should be made with the examinee’s consent.

1.8.5.8 Limit on the Number of Examinations Per Day:

A Europolygraph member examiner must not conduct more than four diagnostic or evidential (forensic) examinations or more than six screening examinations in a single day.

1.8.5.9 Specialized Training for Sex Offender Examiners:

Examiners assessing sex offenders in post-conviction treatment contexts must have completed specialized training of at least 40 hours in post-conviction testing techniques.

1.9 POLYGRAPH EVALUATION QUALIFICATIONS

1.9.1 Grounded in Validated Methods and Decision Rules:

The conclusions and opinions issued by the polygraph examiner must be based on scientifically validated qualification methods and decision rules. This ensures that the assessments are objective, reliable, and grounded in widely accepted practices in the field of polygraphy.

1.9.2 Clarity and Precision in Documentation:

The examiner’s notes and records must be clear and precise enough to allow another qualified examiner to review them, understand the reasoning behind the analysis, and replicate the conclusion. This practice ensures transparency and reproducibility in interpreting examination results.

1.9.3 Reporting Probabilistic Results in Forensic Examinations:

In the case of forensic examinations, the examiner is obligated to report not only the results of the technique used but also the probabilistic data associated with the issued opinion. This provides a measure of confidence and accuracy in the results, allowing for a more informed interpretation.

1.9.4 Restriction on Results Disclosure:

Examiners must refrain from disclosing or reporting the results of an examination until the entire analysis process has been completed. This practice is crucial to avoid premature or inaccurate communication of conclusions and to preserve the integrity of the evaluation process.

2. CODE OF ETHICS OF THE EUROPEAN POLYGRAPH ASSOCIATION

This Code of Ethics establishes the principles and standards of professional conduct expected from all members of the European Polygraph Association. Its purpose is to ensure ethical, responsible, and professional practice of polygraphy.

2.1 CODE OF ETHICS

2.1.1 Professional Integrity:

Members must at all times act with professional integrity, avoiding any conduct that may discredit the profession or compromise the effectiveness of their practices.

 2.1.2 Confidentiality:

Members are obligated to maintain the confidentiality of all information obtained in the course of their duties unless disclosure is required by law.

2.1.3 Informed Consent:

Before conducting an examination, members must obtain informed consent from the examinee, clearly explaining the process and the use of the collected data.

2.1.4 Non-Discrimination:

Members must treat all examinees impartially and respectfully, without discrimination based on race, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, or any other condition.

2.1.5 Professional Competence:

Members must maintain a high level of professional competence through continuous education and compliance with updated standards in the practice of polygraphy.

2.1.6 Proper Use of the Technique:

Members must use polygraph techniques that are validated and based on scientific evidence, avoiding any method that is not supported by robust research.

2.1.6.1 Legal and Ethical Responsibility:

Members must always comply with all applicable laws and regulations and act ethically and legally.

2.1.6.2 Honesty in Communication:

Members must accurately represent their qualifications, certifications, and examination results, avoiding deceptive or false statements.

2.1.6.3 Collaboration and Professional Improvement:

Members must collaborate with colleagues and other professions to enhance the quality and effectiveness of polygraphy practice.

 2.1.6.4 Handling of Conflicts of Interest:

Members must avoid conflicts of interest, and when they arise, they must handle them transparently and ethically.

2.2 TERMINATION OF EUROPOLYGRAPH MEMBERSHIP

In general, the Code of Ethics of the European Polygraph Association (Europolygraph) establishes:

2.1.1 The termination of a member’s membership in the European Polygraph Association (Europolygraph) due to a firm conviction by a court or due to prior criminal history before their registration for various key reasons, related to integrity, credibility, and public trust in the profession. These reasons include:

2.1.2 Professional Integrity and Ethics:

Polygraphy is a profession that demands a high degree of integrity and ethics. A firm conviction or prior criminal history may indicate a breach of these essential ethical standards, which is incompatible with the values and responsible practice of polygraphy.

2.1.3 Public Trust:

Public trust in polygraphy largely depends on the perception of the integrity and reliability of those who practice it. The existence of a criminal record in an examiner can erode this trust and question the legitimacy of the profession.

2.1.4 Compliance with Standards and Regulations:

Membership in professional organizations like Europolygraph often involves compliance with certain ethical standards and regulations. A criminal conviction may represent a violation of these standards, justifying the termination of membership.

2.1.5 Risk of Prejudice and Bias:

Criminal backgrounds can raise concerns about the potential for prejudice or bias in the examiner’s work, which is especially critical in a profession that requires impartiality and objectivity in truth assessment.

2.1.6 Protection of Examinees:

The termination of membership for examiners with criminal backgrounds also serves to protect examinees. This ensures that their rights are respected, and that the examination is conducted in a safe and professional environment.

2.1.7 Maintenance of Professional Standards:

Excluding individuals with criminal backgrounds helps maintain high professional standards within the organization and among its members. This is crucial for the long-term development and reputation of the profession.

2.1.8 Legal Responsibility:

In some cases, specific legislation or regulations may prohibit individuals with certain types of criminal backgrounds from practicing in professions that require a high level of trust and responsibility, as is the case with polygraphy.

In summary, the termination of membership for examiners in Europolygraph due to criminal backgrounds is based on the need to preserve the integrity, reliability, impartiality, and reputation of the profession, as well as to comply with the ethical and legal standards required for the practice of polygraphy.

This Code of Ethics is a commitment from each member of the European Polygraph Association to uphold and enhance integrity and professionalism in the practice of polygraphy.

Spanish Ministry of Interior and CEE, registered in the Spanish National Registry of Associations, Group 1, Section 1, National  #587829 in 2006, founded in 2003

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