Examiners must keep in mind that conducting pre-employment testing is not an easy task. The fact that the test questions are more general in content and lack the specificity found in a criminal exam make the process more difficult for the examiner. Not only must the examiner follow Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) guidelines as with all so-called 'lie detection' applications, but they must also comply with all Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) directives.
Complying with the EEOC in all stages of the pre-employment process is not only imperative but any deviation can be quite costly in a civil litigation. Workplace litigation in the fiscal year 2017 resulted in $398 million paid to victims. It should be quite evident that an examiner and their agency does not have to be on the paying end of such litigation.
VIPRE VSA Basic training, as included in the VIPRE Manual (Chapter Eight), provides the compliance guidelines that should be followed. A maximum of twelve relevant questions is the extent allowable. Examiners must be aware that too many questions can result in what is referred to as the “Habituation Effect” (HE).
This HE effect can result in the desensitizing or over-sensitizing of the subject being tested. Hence, too much may result in too little. An honest, truthful person may become so over sensitized that their patterns and charts indicate prevalent stress. A dishonest person, in turn, may become desensitized showing little or no stress. It is up to the examiner to be aware of such possibilities.
In an attempt to be mindful of the above HE it is important to conduct examinations by following all protocols. Your VIPRE VSA training indicates you should conduct three charts. This practice allows for admissions and confessions, between charts, at which time you bring any discrepancies to the attention of the examinee and allow for an explanation as to the discrepancy in question.
At this point, you can then ask the question on the next chart by adding a phrase such as, “Other that what you told me, or Other than what you admitted to” and add the original question.
(ie. Other than what you admitted to have you stolen any items valued at more than $50.00?)
Certainly, if an individual passes all relevant questions you would not utilize any additional charts. If a subject passed some of the relevant questions on the second chart you need only to skip them on the following chart by not asking the question but still click on record and not obtain a response.
It's also important to remember to do the same for the following irrelevant. Doing so allows continued progress to the next relevant you wish to ask. Remember to always reveal in your directions to the subject, at the beginning of the examination, and after obtaining admissions or confessions between charts that you may skip or eliminate a question.
Oftentimes VSA examiners advise that they would like to run an additional exam with only two or three relevant questions to clear up any discrepancy. Certainly, you may initiate an additional VIPRE VSA exam to clear up any such problems and do so using only two charts as you do in most criminal case testing.
The protocol of conducting three charts during pre-employment examinations allows for admissions and confessions to be obtained prior to the transition statement between charts. If the examiner observes stress on any relevant or following irrelevant, they must clarify the finding and rectify same prior to further testing.
Less can equal more!
Robert "Bob" Martin
VIPRE Technology VSA Sales & Training