Ministry of Justice

Rules for mandatory polygraph tests for sex offenders

Status: Closed - with response

Open date: 19 September 2008

Close date: 21 November 2008

Responses published: 12 March 2009

The National Offender Management Service is proposing to operate a three-year pilot of mandatory polygraph tests to determine if the polygraph can help in the management of sex offenders.

A polygraph is a device that measures changes in breathing, heart activity and sweating, all of which are believed to be related to deception. Evidence from the polygraph would be used to help assess if an offender presents a risk to the public.

The Offender Management Act 2007 enables mandatory polygraph testing for certain sex offenders. This consultation concerns the content of the rules that will regulate mandatory polygraph tests with sex offenders in the UK.

Consultation paper


There were seven responses to the consultation, which have been used to assist in the development of rules for mandatory polygraphy for sex offenders. This document summarises the responses and indicates what actions will be taken as a result.