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PDFWAC 139-07-040

Polygraph examination or other truth verification assessment.

(1) Polygraph assessments provide hiring agencies with insight into an individual's honesty and an opportunity to ask an array of additional background questions.
(2) Standards for polygraph assessments:
(a) Examiners must have graduated from a polygraph school accredited by the American Polygraph Association (APA) or an association with equivalent standards for membership. The examiner must also show that they are in compliance with completion of a minimum of 30 hours of APA-approved continuing education every two calendar years;
(b) Polygraph equipment used as a part of the preemployment assessment must meet a standard that has been proved to be valid and reliable by independent research studies other than those done by the manufacturer;
(c) Techniques for conducting a polygraph must meet industry standards and comply with all applicable federal and state laws including, but not limited to, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Washington state law against discrimination;
(d) Preemployment assessments are considered screening devices and are conducted in the absence of a known incident, allegation, or particular reason to suspect someone's involvement; and
(e) Assessment information and results should be considered confidential within the screening process to be used exclusively by the hiring agency to assist with the selection of an applicant.
(3) Polygraph assessments:
(a) Polygraph assessments administered under this chapter shall be based on data from existing research pertaining to screening and diagnostic polygraph assessments, risk assessment, risk management, and field investigation principles;
(b) Polygraph examiners shall ask questions including, but not limited to, the following topics: General background, employment history, police/corrections experience, driving record, military service, arrest information, personal habits, illegal drug use or possession, credit/financial, sexual activities, domestic violence/temperament, theft, and security and personal associations. Additional questions shall apply specifically to laterals and corrections officers;
(c) Model questions shall be adopted in commission policy; and
(d) The polygraph examiner shall assure that the polygraph equipment is properly functioning, maintained, and calibrated in compliance with the manufacturer's recommendation.
(4) At a minimum, a polygraph instrument shall continuously record the following components during the assessment process:
(a) Two pneumograph components to document thoracic and abdominal movement patterns associated with respiration;
(b) A component to record electro dermal activity reflecting relative changes in the conductance or resistance of current by epidermal tissues;
(c) A cardiograph component to report pulse rate, pulse amplitude, and relative blood pressure changes; and
(d) A motion sensor.
(5) Examiners shall provide hiring agencies with a thorough report that analyzes the results of the assessment. Such report shall include any and all disclosures made by the applicant to the questions asked during the preassessment interview, as well as the results of the applicant's truthfulness to the assessment questions.
(6) The agency which authorized the polygraph assessment shall maintain all documentation of the assessment as required in the law enforcement records retention schedule provided by the Washington state secretary of state's office.
(7) It is the responsibility of the hiring agency to accept the results of the polygraph assessment. The commission does not routinely review these assessments but may do so pursuant to RCW 43.101.400.
(8) An applicant may be offered employment by more than one agency. The polygraph results may be shared with more than one law enforcement or correctional agency under the following circumstances:
(a) The agency which initiated the polygraph assessment agrees to share the results of the assessment in full with another hiring agency;
(b) The applicant signed a release permitting another hiring agency to obtain the assessment report;
(c) The polygraph assessment was completed within six months of the request; and
(d) The job analyses of both agencies are substantially similar.
(9) Other truth verification assessments must be approved by the commission with additional rules established by the commission's governing body regarding its standards of use in fulfilling RCW 43.101.095.
(10) Polygraph reports older than six months shall be considered invalid for the purpose of RCW 43.101.080(15) and 43.101.095(2).
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.101.080. WSR 23-01-086, § 139-07-040, filed 12/16/22, effective 1/16/23. Statutory Authority: RCW 43.101.080 and 43.101.801. WSR 22-13-075, § 139-07-040, filed 6/9/22, effective 7/10/22. Statutory Authority: RCW 43.101.080. WSR 13-02-060, § 139-07-040, filed 12/27/12, effective 1/27/13; WSR 10-07-037, § 139-07-040, filed 3/10/10, effective 4/10/10.]
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