Polygraph Services for State Security Clearance





Seeking A Job In The Defence Forces Will Require You To Take A Polygraph Test


Due to the sensitive nature of confidential state information and intelligence, all employees and potential employees of the private military and defence sectors are expected to undergo security clearance checks. Defence contractors, veterans, military workers and special intelligence agents are required to complete these tests before they can be officially employed. Top secret security clearances are used as a control measure to ensure that employees are trustworthy and reliable before they can gain access to sensitive compartmentalised information (SCI) pertaining to state security or national defence issues. Read this article to learn more about how polygraphs are used throughout these screening processes.


Understanding The Criteria For Attaining Top Secret Security Clearances


Top secret security clearances are generally conducted at the request of the employer, contractor, private company, military unit, department or government. The authority will oblige the potential employee to do this clearance and undergo a polygraph test to ensure that their employment would not incite any elevated risk. Generally, the clearance process includes the following steps:


Full background checks


The authority will attempt to certify the applicant’s criminal records, police clearance certificates, credit ratings and financial records by checking their official databases. Thereafter they will validate their personal information including their address, identity number, age, work experience, and physical wellbeing. Further investigation could also be done into the subject’s medical records or any other relevant documents that might determine their work-readiness and reliability.




The authority will vet the applicant by conducting an interview. During the interview, the authority will ask relevant questions about their work experience, interests, family status, disabilities, citizenship and origin, age, place of residence, organizational affiliations, education, training and personal values. This interview will serve as an opportunity for the applicant to engage personally with the authority, thereby demonstrating their social qualities, character traits, attitudes and mannerisms.


Two Referee Interviews


The applicant will be expected to provide the names and contact details of two references who can vouch for their character and work ethic. The authority or employer will then contact these references and organise two separate interviews with them to discuss the applicant’s suitability for the position. The interviewer will then cross-check any of the applicant’s statements with the reference’s statements.


Work Enquiry


The interviewers will follow up with the applicant’s previous employers to confirm whether or not the information that they disclosed about their work experience is up to date and factual. These enquiries could be done orally, via email or in writing. Responses from the applicant’s previous employers will be recorded in detail and cross-referenced.




Polygraph Services


Depending on the applicant, the authority or employer might feel compelled to ask for polygraph examiners to come and conduct an examination with the applicant. This process would involve an interview with the applicant, where they are connected to machinery and equipment that monitors their physical responses. Polygraphists are able to distinguish between a truth and a lie by assessing the three main indicators of autonomic arousal: skin conductivity, respiration, heart rate and blood pressure. These bodily responses would then be recorded and interpreted, at which point the results obtained from the polygraph test would be used to corroborate other evidence and statements submitted by the candidate.




All of the relevant information from the procedures listed above would be documented and reviewed. The results would include a combination of documents from the reference’s interview, the polygraph results, and the investigation memorandum that would contain the candidate’s background checks and interview results. This case file would then be sent to the evaluation division for consideration and final checks. Based on the evaluator’s recommendations, the authority or employer can decide whether or not they will grant them a security clearance.


Necessary Documents for Polygraph Services Personnel




  • Identity documents
  • Copy of your birth certificate
  • Salary advice
  • Copy of academic qualifications
  • Copy of matric certificate
  • Copy of your driver’s licence
  • Copy of your firearm licence
  • Copy of your marriage certificate
  • Spouse’s identity document
  • Copy of your children’s birth certificates
  • Copy of your divorce certificate
  • Bank statements
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • References’ contact numbers


Factors That Disqualify You From Progressing to the Polygraph Portion of the Clearance Check:


  • Criminal record
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Theft
  • Sexual harassment
  • Extensive debt
  • Tax evasion
  • Foreclosures
  • Fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Bankruptcy
  • Criminal activities
  • Paranoid or volatile behaviour
  • Unregulated mental health issues
  • Child abuse
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Selling, using or manufacturing drugs
  • Unprofessional social media presence
  • Ongoing legal cases
  • Incomplete education information
  • Incomplete references
  • Missing information
  • Discrepancies in personal information and records
  • Missing employment information
  • Omission of information
  • Failure to fill in and submit release forms
  • Failure to submit support documents




Understanding Polygraph Services For Security Clearance


Because of the costs involved, and the multiple stakeholders who need to participate and evaluate the application, the clearance process can endure for anytime between 6 and 18 months. Applicants who have already gone through the clearance process and the polygraph test might already possess proof of their previous results, which is often preferable for employers seeking to fill a position quickly. However, those who do not possess proof will likely have to undergo checks through the institution. When it comes to state employment, it’s possible that the following Departments would consider sponsoring the expenses of a security clearance check and the polygraph test.


  • Department of State Security
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Home Affairs
  • Department of Defence
  • Central Drug Authority


Depending on their financial capacities, the employer might be able to sponsor this clearance exercise. The higher the position, and the more skilled the job, the more likely it is that the institution will cover the costs of the background screening and the polygraph test. Companies such as Polygraph Truths provide standardised, regulated and accredited polygraph services at an affordable rate, making it easier for employers or employees to obtain the top-secret security clearances they need.


If the candidate fails any part of the process, then they might be allowed to appeal to the institution and request a re-examination. Particularly when it comes to taking a polygraph test, candidates should have the opportunity to try again if they felt that their nerves affected their results. If there is still doubt about the validity of the polygraph results, then the results and records of the interviewee’s physical responses will be elevated to supervisors and expert polygraphists for further inspection. However, it is important to note that the polygraph test and its results are meant to be used in conjunction with the other investigative research – that being said, the results of the polygraph test will not be the final determinant for a candidate to pass.




The Three Different Kinds of Polygraph Services


Lifestyle polygraph services


These services carry out detailed examinations of your lifestyle. This includes questions about your private life. For example, examiners could ask about your pets, mental health and family relationships.


Counter-intelligence polygraph services


These polygraph exams ask questions about espionage, sabotage, terrorist activities and state loyalty. These questions are more in-depth, and they are more specific to the issues which pertain to the disclosure of sensitive information. For example, examiners may want to know about your contact with foreign governments.


Full-scope polygraph services


These kinds of polygraph tests are quite common. They include an array of questions that are both relevant to government activities and personal lifestyle choices. Questions are a combination of those asked by counterintelligence polygraph services and lifestyle polygraph services.




Different Polygraph Services Are Conducted According To Different Levels of Security Classifications


According to the government’s security vetting standards, the following explanations are given for different levels of security classifications. These categories are defined by the Minimum Information Security Standards, which have been drafted in line with the National Intelligence Agency’s interests. These categories are defined in order to protect state intelligence.


“ Restricted”


Definition: RESTRICTED is that classification allocated to all information that may be used by malicious/opposing/hostile elements to hamper activities or inconvenience an institution or an individual.


Test: Intelligence/information must be classified as RESTRICTED when the compromise thereof could hamper or cause an inconvenience to the individual or institution.


Explanation: RESTRICTED is used when the compromise of information can cause inconvenience to a person or institution, but cannot hold a threat of damage. However, compromise of such information can frustrate everyday activities.




Definition: The classification CONFIDENTIAL should be limited to information that may be used by malicious/opposing/hostile elements to harm the objectives and functions of an individual and/or institution.


Test: Intelligence/information must be classified CONFIDENTIAL when compromise thereof can lead to:


  • the frustration of the effective functioning of information or operational systems;
  • undue damage to the integrity and/or reputation of individuals;
  • the disruption of ordered administration within an institution; and
  • adverse effect on the non-operational relations between institutions.


Explanation: CONFIDENTIAL is used when compromise of information results in:


  • undue damage to the integrity of a person or institution, but not entailing a threat of serious damage. The compromise of such information, however, can frustrate everyday functions, lead to an inconvenience and bring about wasting of funds; the inhibition of systems, the periodical disruption of administration (eg logistical problems, delayed personnel administration, financial relapses, etc) that inconvenience the institution, but can be overcome;
  • the orderly, routine co-operation between institutions and/or individuals being harmed or delayed, but not bringing functions to a halt.






Definition: SECRET is the classification given to information that may be used by malicious/opposing/hostile elements to disrupt the objectives and functions of an institution and/or state.


Test: Intelligence/information must be classified as SECRET when the compromise thereof:


  • can disrupt the effective execution of information or operational planning and/or plans;
  • can disrupt the effective functioning of an institution;
  • can damage operational relations between institutions and diplomatic relations between states;
  • can endanger a person’s life.


Explanation: SECRET is used when the compromise of information: can result in the disruption of the planning and fulfilling of tasks, ie the objectives of a state or institution in such a way that it cannot properly fulfil its normal functions; can disrupt the operational cooperation between institutions in such a way that it threatens the functioning of one or more of these institutions.


Top Secret


Definition: TOP SECRET is the classification given to information that can be used by malicious/opposing/hostile elements to neutralise the objectives and functions of institutions and/or state.


Test: Intelligence/information must be classified TOP SECRET when the compromise thereof:


  • can disrupt the effective execution of information or operational planning and/or plans;
  • can seriously damage operational relations between institutions;
  • can lead to the discontinuation of diplomatic relations between states;
  • can result in the declaration of war.


Explanation: TOP SECRET is used when the compromise of information results in :


the functions of a state and/or institution being brought to a halt by disciplinary measures, sanctions, boycotts or mass action; the severing of relations between states; a declaration of war.”


The Aim Of Polygraph Services For Top Secret Clearance


The purpose of using polygraph services during your top-secret clearance checks is to confirm whether or not the applicant is dependable, ethical and honest. The polygraph services also help the authorities to guarantee that even if the application documents have been falsified, then the truth will come out in the examination. Top secret clearance checks help employers determine whether the candidate is a person of integrity.


By conducting investigations into their criminal and financial records, they can determine whether the applicant is loyal to the state and non-susceptible to extortion, bribes or blackmail. Using polygraph services as an instrument for this kind of clearance helps employers discern whether the applicant has the necessary qualities to grant him access to sensitive compartmentalised information. In this way, polygraph services are useful instruments to use for pre-employment screening in the defence and state security sectors.