Delay in DoD Poly Scheduling?

I recently followed up with my recruiter for a position within the DoD I received a CJO for last October.

I submitted my SF86 at the end of December, and then my credit was pulled end of January. When I spoke to my recruiter, she said my paperwork had just been submitted on 03/06/19. Not exactly sure what that entails, or what stage that leaves me at. Haven’t heard a peep on anything since. No BI investigator yet, no Psych scheduled, no Poly scheduled, nothing.

However, she mentioned there being a backlog for Polygraph scheduling. Has anyone heard about this? I have seen people rolling through multiple Poly’s, but I am told there are no spaces available for me in March or April, and they will keep their eye open during May to see if they can fit me in.

Can someone with experience in this field, explain why there may be a delay? Is it because my position may not be as “mission critical” as others, and if so, will I constantly be bumped back?

No . . . It isn’t because your position isn’t “mission critical” . . . It’s because you are only at the start of the process.

December to March? Three months . . . Secrets are taking a minimum of 12 months, it sounds like you are going for a TS, you are looking at an 18 month process, at least. You aren’t being “bumped back”. There are just 500,000 or so people in front of you.


No two timelines are quite the same. The one characteristic that they all share is that they take an unbelievably long time and I’m sure that whatever the digital equivalent of a file sitting on a desk gathering dust might be, there’s an awful lot of it going on.

Yes it can take a long time to get a poly scheduled but I think if you have to go back, that can be scheduled a little more quickly… I think. At least in some cases.

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I am seeing a lot of new posts where agencies are scheduling poly before the BI completes or in some case initiates. I do not know the specific agencies doing that but I see it as a sea change from my experience. It could be they were seeing a lot of folks fail to get an “all clear” on poly, but they were not eliminated during the BI. Obviously they look at similar things but can also look at entirely different things. Using the process that eliminates the most up front is a better use of resources. My client conducts the bI and then the Poly’s. Emphasis on plural.

How do you know if they are done with the BI? I handed in my SF-86 mid July. Met with my case officer end of October. Took my first Poly 2nd week in January and my 2nd (yes had to go back) the 4th week in January and was told I passed.

I have no news since then. All my contacts says is that it is moving forward and in adjudication. Does that mean the BI is over? Strangely, not everyone on my SF86 was contacted…

I submitted my SF86 back in August and completed the Poly in January. I have yet to have my SI and none of my references has been contacted. My employer said that I’m still in the process. Not sure when they’ll initiate the BI though. This is for a contractor position with an IC agency.

Boring is good. You will be stressed, heart pounding etc. Tell the truth, and stick with the truth. Don’t agree to any negative behavior thinking you can clarify later. If you said yes, stick with yes and no need to explain or go into details. Be consistent in all answers and do not fear if you once stole a pen at work. Tell them that. I was confessing to shoplifting at age 3 while in the seat of a store cart and mom pushing me! It will get frustrating but just keep plugging. Expect a call back and a follow up interview but think nothing of it. If you honestly have no idea if one area stressed you more than another do not suggest it did. If they have a specific area you did not test well on, they will get around to it. If a question has too many parts to answer quickly (have you ever, in any way, at any time, failed to follow orders, directions, instructions in any job under any circumstance). Just way too many pause places for me to consider. If fines were under $300, no worries.


Tell the truth, stick to the truth, and try to breathe. The person sitting across from you has to go though this same process, and examiners do it I think once a year as a recert process too.

Absolutely. I could not honestly answer “no,” as I knew I shoplifted as a kid and somehow ended up with a drawer full of government pens. I brought them back and a week later they were gone again as people “borrow” them. I would say “yes.” I took a pair of socks from my buddy.

Okay thank you for explaining that to me. I am an extremely honest person in a regular day, even if it has consequences, so I want to stay that way.

You asked how much do nerves affect the polygraph. Because there are no scientific studies on the effects of nervousness on polygraph outcomes, no one can provide an authoritative answer to this question.

However, to the extent that nervousness may result in changes in respiration, perspiration, heart rate, and blood pressure, it can affect polygraph tracings.

A good way to manage your nervousness is to demystify the polygraph by educating yourself about about it.

Suggested reading includes psychologist David T. Lykken’s A Tremor in the Blood: Uses and Abuses of the Lie Detector (2nd ed., Plenum Trade, 1998), the 2002 National Academy of Sciences report, The Polygraph and Lie Detection, and’s free ebook, The Lie Behind the Lie Detector (5th ed., 2018).

OK, Anti, you’re against the poly. Got it.

This forum is for people looking for information about working in an industry where many employers require a polygraph. You can huff and puff and rant and rave about how it sucks, but it isn’t going to do anybody here any good.

Furthermore, getting spun up about the polygraph won’t help anybody here.

There are many problems with the polygraph. I will not go to great lengths to defend it. But nobody will get employed by an agency that requires a poly by holding their breath until their face turns blue. If you want to abolish the polygraph, start a campaign, contact your congressional reps, go on the Maury Povich Show… but give us a break.