Pre-Employment Polygraph Testing

Our polygraph examiners at FRPEA are some of the most experienced polygraphists available to the profession. We understand 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 and assist the applicant to overcome their anxieties and encourage honesty throughout the pretest interview. When the applicant tells us that he or she is ready, we then 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, such as Maine, are much 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 any pre-employment polygraph testing. New Hampshire is regulated by EPPA.

How do law enforcement agencies prepare their applicant 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 that agencies conduct a background investigation on each applicant and a copy is provided to the polygraph examiner before polygraph testing. A copy of the applicant’s application and resume should also be provided to the polygraph examiner. These documents will be discussed with the applicant as part of the pretest interview. The American 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 and 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 results of the examination 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. The data will be reviewed by another FRPEA polygraph examiner and 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 their pre-employment polygraph screening test, the applicant is given an opportunity to discuss their reactions and testing is not complete until completion of further breakdown and/or single issue testing. At FRPEA, this follow up testing can be scheduled by the law enforcement agency’s CEO.