OAPE Certification Requirements: Polygraphist Certification Program

Administered by the Ohio Association of Polygraph Examiners

Download Certification Application Form: PDF

Renew Certification Form: PDF


The purpose of this program is to recognize those polygraphists who strive to meet professional standards and improve their professionalism through training and education.


  1. Certifying Body - the Ohio Association of Polygraph Examiners, after having agreed to participate in the National Polygraphist Certification Program by signing the Polygraphist Certification Program Participation Agreement.
  2. Polygraph - an instrument capable of simultaneously recording two breathing patterns, a cardiovascular pattern and a galvanic skin response. This section does not preclude the use of other instrumentation in connection with research or other experimentation recognized by the certifying body.
  3. National Polygraph Association - shall be the ones that participated in the establishment of the Kansas City Planning Committee: The American Polygraph Association, The American Association of Police Polygraphists, The Academy of Certified Polygraphists and the National Polygraph Association.
  4. Continuing Education - shall include, at a minimum, attendance at any schooling, training or seminar related to polygraph. Further, courses may include those that would help a polygraphist develop the skills and knowledge used in the polygraph profession or other courses approved by the Ohio Association of Polygraph Examiners. These courses could, at a minimum, be taken through any state, regional or national polygraph association, any criminal justice agency, a college or university or a correspondence course offered by any of these providers.


To qualify for initial certification to become a certified polygraphist (CP), the applicant must meet the following qualifications:

  1. The polygraphist must have graduated from a polygraph school recognized by at least one national polygraph association.
  2. The polygraphist must have two years polygraph experience and document 32 hours of continuing education since graduation from polygraph school.
  3. The polygraphist must have conducted a minimum of 200 polygraph examinations. At least 20 of these must have been conducted in the year before application to become a certified polygraphist.
  4. The polygraphist must be of sound moral character, have no adult felony convictions or serious misdemeanor convictions. Further, the applicant must abide by the laws (regarding the polygraph and its use) of the federal, state and local governments in which he/she practices.
  5. Grandfathering is a concept by which polygraphists may acquire certification provided the polygraphist meets certain conditions. The opportunity for grandfathering would apply to currently practicing polygraphists who practice or reside in the state or are otherwise eligible to become a member of the Ohio Association of Polygraph Examiners (OAPE). The polygraphist must meet at least the minimum standards of the OAPE’s Certification Program and provide proof of at least 100 hours of continuing education since graduation from basic polygraph school. The polygraphist must also become a member of the OAPE.

  6. A currently practicing polygraphist mean that the polygraphs must have administered at least 20 examinations in the 12 months before applying for certification.

    After being granted certification, the polygraphist would then have to meet the renewal requirements for certification.


  1. Application must be made to the Ohio Association of Polygraph Examiners if the polygraphist resides or practices in the state of Ohio. If the polygraphist does not reside or practice in the state of Ohio, he/she should apply for certification in the state in which the polygraphist resides or practices. If there is not a certifying body available within the state, the polygraphist may apply if he/she is from an adjacent state, or this certifying body is the nearest to him/her.
  2. Any polygraphist not meeting the minimum qualifications for certification, or having otherwise failed to be accepted as a certified polygraphist, shall not again apply for certification for at least 12 months. Once certification has been denied, the applicant cannot apply to a different certifying body. Subsequent initial application can only be made to the Ohio Association of Polygraph Examiners.
  3. Application for initial certification and renewal will be on a form prescribed for such purpose.


  1. Every three years, any CP wishing to continue in the Program must apply for renewal of his/her certification and submit documentation of having completed at least 24 hours of continuing education within the preceding 3 year period.
  2. If a CP has moved out of state or region during a period of renewal, the CP may apply for renewal through the new state/region of residence or practice. The CP will only be required to meet the renewal requirements of the renewing state/region.


The fee charged for initial certification shall be $15. The fee for renewal shall be $10. The fees shall be used to establish a fund for the continuous operation of the Certification Program.

Grievance/Displinary Provisions

  1. A grievance committee appointed by the president will investigate grievances or complaints brought to the attention of the association. Complains can include, but are not limited to, illegal activity or unethical behavior. The committee, after conducting an investigation, may dismiss the complaint or, after a hearing, the committee may suspend the designation of certified polygraphist.
  2. A polygraphist who is the subject of any grievance committee action may appeal the decision of the committee pursuant to the rules established by the Ohio Association of Polygraph Examiners.
  3. All complaints will be handled pursuant to the rules established by the Ohio Association of Polygraph Examiners.