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Course Handbook 



Throughout time, humans have searched for the perfect method of determining who is telling the truth and who is not.  This occurs in all facets of society, whether during times of war and chaos or while in pursuit of innocence or guilt before tribunals.  Approaches in determining the truth have varied from horrific forms of torture, to complex trickery, to the use of drug serums.

As the 19th century ended, "polygraph," meaning "many writings" was slowly developing into the highly regulated profession it is today.  Numerous talented individuals, who helped to bring polygraph into the modern technology age of the new millennium, made contributions both large and small.  The Virginia School of Polygraph's curriculum is designed to prepare the serious-minded student to enter into this most fascinating and challenging field of study.

Our course of study will superbly prepare students for graduation and for the daily rigors of the professional life of a Polygraph Examiner.  We will prepare you for the satisfaction of resolving a "Whodunit" utilizing the latest in polygraph techniques and technology.  We will further train you to determine factors of recidivism among criminal offenders and protect the community at large.  Prepare to attend one of the premiere polygraph institutions in the country:  The Virginia School of Polygraph.

Mission Statement

To provide students with cutting edge technical knowledge, quality question formulation schemes and practical experience in conducting polygraph examinations. Utilizing proven training techniques individualized tutoring and emphasizing proper interviewing methods will enable our students to build upon their foundation; eventually becoming expert practitioners and future leaders in the polygraph profession.


Our Polygraph Examiner training course is a 400-hour classroom-training program.  Our comprehensive training consists not only of classroom study, but also observation of experienced examiners conducting selected polygraph examinations, and hands-on experience.  Additionally, a field project is required, ensuring proper retention of necessary information and skills.  Personalized tutoring by our professional staff is available for students needing specialized attention.  This program will sufficiently prepare each graduating student for the comprehensive Virginia State Certification Board Examination. 

Class rosters are held to a limit of twenty students at a time for sessions held at the Newport News Police Academy


As noted above, class size is strictly limited to no more than a 20 students per session. This allows for maximized individual instruction. Acceptance into the school is on a first come-first served basis. Registration information may be obtained by calling (571) 435-1207, or via email at

Rules and Regulations

Admission Requirements

Applicants must possess the following mandatory requirements: students intending to practice in the state of Virginia are required to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university OR an associate's degree with a minimum 3 years of criminal investigative experience OR a minimum 5 years of criminal investigative experience, which meet Virginia state requirements.  Students who wish to practice the profession outside the state of Virginia must meet their state requirement. All students are personally responsible to insure they meet the all licensing requirement for the state they intent to seek professional licensure. No applicants will be considered for enrollment that has felony convictions or any crime of moral turpitude or any person who has been discharged from any branch of the military service, federal, city, or state government under any but honorable conditions.  

Tuition or Schedule of Fees

The ten-week course tuition is $6,000.00, which includes the use of all manuals, textbooks and polygraph supplies.  Tuition must be paid in full by the March 1st for the spring session and August 15th for the fall session unless otherwise approved by the Director. The fall session held in Newport News will be $6,300.00. The increase in tuition for the fall session is due to the additional travel expense by instructors. All books are included in the tuition, but we do offer the Matte book, out textbook, for sale for $135.00 if students want their own copy.


Virginia School of Polygraph does NOT guarantee or make any verbal agreements to offer students an internship upon graduation from the basic 10-week polygraph course. All internships are made through a separate written contractual agreement between the school and the student, with a separate payment agreement between the student and the school. 

Refund Policy

Student who has a verifiable emergency, verified through a licensed physician, and cannot start, a refund of 50% of the tuition will be given or the full fee will be applied to a subsequent program.  In the event an entire program is postponed or cancelled for any reason, any and all advanced money received will be fully refunded or applied to the postponed date.  Failure to attend the first week of classes after being accepted and registered will result in the student's forfeiture of the entire tuition, unless, as noted above, there is a verifiable emergency and the student cannot complete the program.  The VSP Director will make final determination.  In the event a student wishes to withdraw from the program the following refund will be issued to the student:

  • Withdraw during the 1st week: $1000.00 refund

  • Withdraw during the 2nd week: $500.00 refund

  • No refunds will be issued after the 2nd week

Refunds will not be given after dismissal for disciplinary reasons. (See grounds for expulsion) There is a reduced re-admission fee for withdrawals, as outlined in our Re-Admission policy.


Classes in Manassas, Virginia, consist of a training room, which is adjacent to three polygraph suites shared with Northern Virginia Pre-Employment and Polygraph Services (NVPEPS).  The suite arrangement is also conducive to use of the polygraph instruments.  On-site training ensures students can competently conduct polygraph examinations upon leaving the classroom setting.

Fall sessions will be held at the Newport News Police Community Outreach Center located at 10188 Warwick Blvd. (State Route 60) Newport News, VA, 23606 The rules and regulations of the academy will be explained by staff of the Newport News Police Department the first day of classes. Each student will be held responsible for following these rules and regulations of the academy while attending classes and of the regulations contained herein.

Lodging and Meals

The school will assist students in finding convenient lodging close to the school or training site and will post these hotels on its main webpage.  Virginia School of Polygraph will not make specific recommendations on any particular hotels and lodging and meals are the responsibility of each individual student.


The ten-week, 400-hour in-classroom course is held twice a year, beginning in March and September and is considered a full-time program. The school does not offer any part-time classes.  On occasion, student schedules will vary and class may start earlier or later and on occasions may run on Saturday in rare occasions.  School facilities may be made available to students for hands-on practice before and after classes and by appointment.

Credit for Prior Education

Due to the specific nature of our educational program and profession, the school and its accrediting agency does not grant any credits for prior learning or education. All students must attend all parts of the program to graduate and must abide by our course attendance requirements.  

Class Structure

Classes are conducted from 9:00 in the morning until 6:00 in the evening on the weekdays.  There is a one-hour break for lunch and other breaks, as they are needed.  For the convenience and accommodation of instructors or guest lecturers, occasionally Saturday classes may be necessary.  If this occurs, the schedule will be adjusted accordingly. There will be homework on a nightly bases and study on the weekends for tests held weekly.


Daily attendance is mandatory.  Failure to attend class or part of class is unacceptable.  Absences from scheduled instruction, regardless of the reason, are documented.  Absenteeism and tardiness will not be tolerated.  If absences and tardiness begin to affect the student's progress, or the progress of other students, the student may be discharged from the program without a refund.  Re-enrollment will be at the discretion of the Director.  Students are required to attend five, eight-hour per day, totaling 40 hours per week for ten weeks.  Students must attend 384 hours of the 400-hour course to complete and graduate from this training. 

Upon re-enrollment, the participant will be considered a probationary student.  All class work that was missed will be fully and satisfactorily completed in the student's spare time.  If additional tutoring becomes necessary for a re-enrolled student, a fee of $50 per hour will be assessed. 


The school calendar has been arranged to allow for most National Holidays off; however, some holidays may fall within the class session.  Regrettably, it may be necessary to attend class on some holidays.  Staff will make every effort to accommodate holiday time off.

Course Instructors

  1. Mr. Darryl L. DeBow, Director, Primary instructor on all aspects of the basic and advanced polygraph training: Mr. DeBow has a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and retired as a Sergeant from the Loudoun Co. Sheriff's Office. Mr. DeBow has a total of 28 years law enforcement experience.  He opened his first business, Northern VA Pre-Employment & Polygraph Services in 1995 and purchased his 2nd business, Virginia School of Polygraph, in 2003. Mr. DeBow was the Vice President-Private for the Virginia Polygraph Association between 1997 and 2005 and a Polygraph Board Member of the Department of Professional Occupational Regulation. Mr. DeBow has been an Adjunct Faculty Member for Marymount University, Master's Forensic Psychology Program between 2001and 2008. Mr. DeBow completed his AAS in Administration of Justice at Northern Virginia Community College and his Baccalaureate Degree in Criminal Justice at East Cost Polytechnic Institute University.

  2. Mr. Guy Morgan, Instructor of  R&I technique and polygraph Skill and Techniques: Mr. Morgan has a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and retired as a Master Police Officer from the Fairfax Co. Police Department.  Mr. Morgan is currently employed as an Internal Affairs Investigator with the Fairfax Co. Fire & Rescue Services. 
  3. Mr. Chad, Perkins Legal Instructor: Mr. Pohlner is a graduate of Widener University  Law school and is currently employed by the Newport News Commonwealth Attorney's office as an Assistant Commonwealth Attorney.

  4. Dr. Stephen Plotnick, MD, PLLC Physiology Instructor: Dr. Plotnick received his B.S. degree in Biology from Boston University in 1984.  He received his medical degree at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Plotnick completed his residency in internal medicine at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia in 1991 and his fellowship in Rheumatology at Washington Hospital Center in 1993.  Dr. Plotnich served in the National Guard between 1985 and 1991 and received an Honorable Discharge as a Captain in 1991.  Dr. Plotnich is currently employed at East Cost Polytechnic Institute University's Medical Careers Institute as an instructor in Anatomy, Physiology and Microbiology.   

  5. Miss. Christine Karl, Psychology Instructor: Miss. Karl received her Master's degree in Sports Science, Psychology, and Education from the University of Salzburg in 1999.  Miss. Karl has a Master's degree in Forensic Psychology from Marymount University. She is heavily involved in working with child victims of sexual abuse or molestation.  She has also worked with the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. 

  6. Mrs. Kari Bumbleburg, Instrumentation Instructor, Polygraph Skill and Techniques: Mrs. Bumbleburg received her Associate and BS degrees in business from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2005 and 2007. She is a graduate of Maryland Institute of Criminal Justice Polygraph School.  Mrs. Bumbleburg is currently a sales and technical support associate with Lafayette Instrument Company, where she has worked since 1999. Mrs.Bumbleburg has been heavily involved in training throughout her time with Lafayette and specializes in the use of computerized polygraph.

Instructors retained for this school are all highly professional individuals and should be treated as such.  Attorneys, physicians, psychiatrists/psychologists and other professionals will be lecturing on a regular basis.  All of our instructors and guest lecturers have many years of experience in their respective fields.  Please show all instructors the utmost respect, and address them professionally.  Instructors may change depending on the necessity of the class and or instructor's availability.


The classroom environment is relaxed, as we believe that students absorb material faster and retain it longer if pressure is minimized.  Instructors welcome questions.  Our staff believes that no student should ever leave class with an unanswered question or lack of understanding of any part of the day's instruction.

Dress Code

Classes are held in a relaxed atmosphere.  Casual attire is allowed; however, shorts, blue jeans, t-shirts, sandals, revealing, or ill-fitting clothing are not permitted.  Each student should bring one business suit with them for class pictures.  Business attire may be required several times throughout the training period.

Out of Classroom Study

Out of classroom study is vitally important to fully understanding and completely integrating the material that a student is exposed to daily.  Homework and studying will be necessary to process what was learned in class.  This is essential.  Mandatory studying and class projects are fundamental to remaining competitive and to ensure graduation.  Unannounced quizzes, plus comprehensive tests and impromptu graded reviews are an important means of evaluating a student's progress.

Student Complaints

Any student who wishes to file a complaint against another student or staff member of the school is instructed to contact the director of the school.  Complaints can come in any form, verbally, written or third party.  All complaints, no matter how minor, are considered serious and will be looked into by the school and/or its designee.  Virginia School of Polygraph strives to provide a relaxed and professional atmosphere for all students and will do anything within its power to assure this occurs.

Career Placement

Virginia School of Polygraph does not offer job placement services and does not guarantee employment. The school does, however, receive numerous employment notices and these opportunities are provided to interested students.

Field Project

A post-graduation field project must be completed as part of each student's academic instruction upon returning to his or her employer.  Part of this project is to further allow us to evaluate the student, ensuring professional, ethical and operational proficiency.

Each student will be required to conduct a set number of examinations in the techniques taught at our school upon returning to their employers.  After this field project is completed, evaluated by staff members.

Each student will be required to complete a 15-page research paper on a polygraph topic approved by the director of the Virginia School of polygraph.  The research paper must be completed prior to graduation.

If any deficiencies in completing the field project are noted, they will be brought to the students' attention, corrective suggestions will be offered, and the student will be encouraged to finish the project.

Grading Structure

94-100 = A
87-93 = B
80-86 = C

 All students are required to maintain a minimum average of 80% during the entire ten-week course.  If a student's grade falls below that standard, the Director has the option of allowing the student to remain for one examination in order to bring his/her GPA above 80% or to dismiss the student for failure to meet the academic requirements of the school.  If students fail to bring their GPAs above 80%, once given this one time opportunity, they will be dismissed for not meeting academic requirements. Students are evaluated weekly through their classroom participation, weekly tests scores and homework assignments.  The students are provided every opportunity to discuss problems they are experiencing and gain any assistance they need to insure they are successful in the class, but the student is also responsible for bringing concerns to the attention of the instructor or director before he/she is at the point of academic dismissal.

Honor Code

VSP firmly believes that students and future polygraph examiners should be of the highest moral character.  To promote a strong sense of mutual responsibility, respect, trust and fairness among all students, and with the desire for greater academic and personal achievement, students are expected to behave in a law-abiding, honest fashion.  Cheating, plagiarism, lying and stealing will not be tolerated.  Staff will enforce the honor code and students are expected to report violations of the honor code to the Director immediately.  Every effort will be made to protect the confidentiality of the source of reported misbehavior.   Final determination of expulsion will rest with the Director. (See Grounds for Expulsion.)

Grounds for Expulsion

Any student found violating the ethics of the APA, the rules, regulations and policies of the school, or the confidentiality of any polygraph examination viewed during training, may be expelled permanently.

Other disciplinary infractions that are grounds for expulsion are, but not limited to:

  1. Usage of illegal drugs or participation in any other illegal drug activities

  2. Participation in criminal behavior, including misdemeanors and felonies

  3. Public drunkenness or DUI/DWI offenses

  4. Disorderliness

  5. Application dishonesty or failure to make prompt payment for school indebtedness

  6. General dishonesty, such as lying, cheating or stealing, or any other issued of moral turpitude

  7. Any acts which tend to show unfavorable upon the student, VSP, or the profession of polygraph in general

  8. Failure to maintain an 80% GPA during the entire course of instruction

  9. Collaboration during testing

  10. Plagiarism

  11. Buying, selling, stealing, and the use of prior students tests

  12. Copying information from another student on graded assignments

  13. Submission of work other than their own for written assignments

Any student dismissed because of Academic Misconduct will not be re-admitted.

The Director reserves the right to take disciplinary action, including dismissal, when any student fails to meet the standards of conduct appropriate for membership in the academic community.

In the event a student is expelled from the course for any of the above disciplinary actions no refund will be issued.  In the event any student/agency takes legal action against the Virginia School of Polygraph after being expelled and no indication by the court of wrongdoing on behalf of the school, the individual or organization will be responsible for all legal costs and damages involved in the school defending the dismissal of the student.

Re-Admission Policy

Any student leaving class before graduation can be re-admitted within one year at the following fee structure: Re-admission will only be granted to students who are in good standing and have met and maintained school GPA standards.

Students who drop out within 4 weeks and then apply to return
Re-Admission fee: $4,500.00
Students who drop out after 4 weeks and then apply to return
Re-Admission fee: $3,500.00

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