Selecting an Examiner
If you are seeking the services of a polygraph examiner you are already experiencing a life crisis. Do not compound that crisis by selecting the wrong examiner! Whatever your crises are, selecting the right polygraph examiner is one of the most important decisions you will make. You should spend as much time searching for an examiner as you would if purchasing a new car. However, unlike shopping for a car, you are not necessarily searching for the lowest price. If you were selecting a surgeon to perform a very delicate procedure would you select the cheapest one or the one that you were confident in and felt comfortable with?
A lot of polygraph examiners have websites and I will never openly criticize another examiner or how that examiner advertises his or her services and credentials but when “shopping” for an examiner keep a few things in mind. Everything that glitters is not gold, talk is cheap, LOOKING fancy is just that, more is not better and you get what you pay for.
So, caveat emptor (let the buyer beware)
Just because an examiner belongs to a multitude of associations, or is “certified”, or has X years of experience and has done X number of examinations does not necessarily mean that examiner is a good examiner. Those X examinations may have been done wrong for some or all of those X years. Polygraphy is constantly evolving and some examiners stay stuck in the past and do not evolve with the science. Belonging to associations is important and I would shy away from any examiner that does not belong to their state and at least one national association. However, association affiliation does not make one a good examiner. Being “certified” does not make one a good examiner either. All being “certified” means in most cases is that an examiner has attended enough seminars and accumulated enough continuing education hours to meet that particular association’s minimum criteria for “certification”. I am now and I have been in the past “certified” by various associations and all I did to get “certified” was attend seminars. Anyone can sit through a seminar. It is what that examiner does with those continuing education hours that are important. Many examiners attend just to get “certified” and go right back to their bad practices because they have been doing this for X years and they have done thousands of exams and their way works just fine. Well, as I said, polygraphy is always evolving and what used to be correct and proper may back then not be, and probably isn't, proper now. The American Polygraph Association calls it “best practices” and they are constantly updating those practices because, again, polygraphy is always evolving.
When talking to an examiner about your situation ask questions. Ask lots of questions and make sure those questions are answered to your satisfaction. For example, ask the examiner how many total continuing education hours he or she has and more importantly, how many hours do they have in the past year. In states that require licensure there is typically a minimum number of hours an examiner must have within a certain period to remain licensed. Ask the examiner how many hours they are required to have in a given period to maintain their license. If the examiner you are considering has the minimum or near the minimum number of hours, beware. Beware the examiner that touts their many years of “experience” but has what seems like very few hours of continuing education for that many years of “experience”. You want an examiner that is a sponge and takes advantage of every possible training opportunity. Again, continuing education ALONE does not guarantee the examiner is qualified but it is an important factor to consider how serious they are about their profession.
Beware of an examiner that advertises that he or she is the ONLY examiner that employs current and validated techniques or is better than other examiners because unless that examiner actually observed the other examiners he or she does not have a clue as to what technique the other examiner uses or how efficient that examiner is. Making such a statement, in my opinion, is reckless and very unprofessional and I would even go so far as calling it a fabrication.
Beware of an examiner that will drop his or her stated fee to meet or undercut what another examiner has quoted you. To me, it is unethical for an examiner to do that and it tells me that examiner does not believe he or she is worth his or her fee. Is that the examiner you want to help you deal with what is probably one of the most important circumstances in your life? Respectfully, if you contact me and ask me to reduce my fee because another examiner said he or she will do it for less I will tell you to hire that other examiner and I will remind you that you get what you pay for.
Rather than have this website look like a polygraph encyclopedia I prefer a personal touch.
So, call me and we will discuss YOUR particular and unique situation and I will gladly answer all your questions. After all, how else can you form a solid opinion and make an informed decision as to whether or not you are comfortable with any particular examiner? One of the most important things in selecting a polygraph examiner is does that examiner exude confidence and does that examiner put you at ease.