Pre-Employment Polygraph Testing

Our polygraph examiners at FRPEA are some of the most experienced polygraphists available to the profession. We understand the applicant’s general anxieties associated with pre-employment polygraph screening. After all, our polygraph examiners themselves were tested at the start of their law enforcement careers.

Our goal at FRPEA is to afford every applicant the best opportunity to have a successful polygraph screening test. We use our years of professional interviewing experience to help the applicant overcome their anxiety and encourage honesty throughout the pretest interview. When the applicant tells us they are ready, we finalize and review the polygraph test questions and answers together. There are no surprises.

Who can be given a pre-employment polygraph screening test?

Many states choose to be governed by the Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 (EPPA), which outlines who can be administered a pre-employment polygraph test. The Department of Labor also has a detailed interpretation of EPPA.

Some states, including Maine, are more restrictive. Maine’s MRSA Title 32 Chapter 86 § 7364 states that pre-employment polygraph testing can only be conducted on applicants for employment with a law enforcement agency. Massachusetts does not allow pre-employment polygraph testing. EPPA regulates New Hampshire.

How do law enforcement agencies prepare applicants for a successful pre-employment polygraph screening examination?

At FRPEA, we truly believe that there should be no surprises. The Maine Criminal Justice Academy requires agencies to conduct a background investigation on each applicant. A copy is provided to the polygraph examiner before testing. A copy of the applicant’s application and resume is also provided to the polygraph examiner. These documents are discussed with the applicant as part of the pretest interview.

The Americans with Disabilities Act mandates that certain information cannot be asked until a Conditional Offer of Employment is offered to the applicant. A copy of that offer should be included in the polygraph packet for FRPEA.

Lastly, the applicant should fill out the Maine Criminal Justice Academy’s Police Applicant Polygraph Integrity Questionnaire. Then, submit it to the agency’s CEO. Once reviewed, that document is included in the packet for the polygraph examiner.

How long will it take to find out the polygraph test results?

The FRPEA polygraph examiner will discuss the examination results with the applicant at the end of the in-test phase. Shortly thereafter, the agency’s hiring representative will be contacted and informed of the results. Another FRPEA polygraph examiner will review the data. It will be followed up with a detailed confidential FRPEA polygraph examination report to that agency.

What if the applicant fails the polygraph test?

Our goal at FRPEA is to give every applicant the best chance to pass their polygraph screening test. According to the Maine Criminal Justice Academy’s polygraph examiner’s policy, when an applicant fails a pre-employment polygraph screening test, the applicant can discuss their reactions. Testing is not complete until the completion of further breakdown or single-issue testing. At FRPEA, this follow-up testing can be scheduled by the law enforcement agency’s CEO.