General Writing Board

Writing standards

The General Writing Board, by forming a set of rules for examination and opinion, by educating in the field of writing and by disseminating correct information on the subject, ensures that the profession of graphologist is properly carried on.

Due to the lack of clear criteria for the whole process of conducting research and providing opinions, starting with the qualifications of the person providing the opinion, through the principles of conducting research or elements necessary in the research report and ending with the authors’ responsibility for the content of the research, in a number of proceedings defective opinions are also issued. It results in the necessity of repeating the tests, prolonging the proceedings, mental and financial hardship for the parties. The reason for this is the unverified qualifications of persons entered on lists of experts, whose knowledge and ability to provide opinions is not checked by an expert body in a given field before being entered on the list or before their term of office is extended.

The attractiveness of the industry and the generally easy access to various levels of education means that courses appear on the market whose quality is not verified by anyone, and those responsible for assessing the diplomas they issue find it difficult to assess the reliability of the provider of such courses and the degree of knowledge acquired by the student.

Another source of the problem of defective opinions is the fact that experts, despite such a requirement for their continuation in office, do not improve their qualifications, which they very often gained even several decades earlier, when the research possibilities were extremely different from what the contemporary development of science and technology offers. All this results in the introduction into the circulation of proceedings, which, let us not forget, shape human fates, of the effects of the repeatedly defective work of graphologists.

The above position is reflected in the Report of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights and the Polish Business Council in cooperation with the Ombudsman on expert witnesses in Poland

Powołanie Naczelnej Rady Pismoznawczej było odpowiedzią środowiska faktycznych ekspertów pismoznawstwa, którzy zawodowo i naukowo zajmują się wyłącznie, a nie po godzinach, badaniem pisma ręcznego; którzy posiadają wykształcenie kierunkowe; którzy rozumieją potrzebę wdrożenia w kraju standardów obowiązujących dla danej dziedziny na świecie; którzy stale podnoszą własne kwalifikacje; którzy działają na rzecz usystematyzowania w Polsce kryteriów standardów badania pisma ręcznego i opiniowania, a tym samym nadania klarowności tej „mętnej” dziś dziedzinie.

W ramach opracowywania standardów eksperckiego opiniowania Naczelna Rada Pismoznawcza prowadzi cykliczne obrady, w wyniku których opracowywane są dokumenty mające na celu wyznaczenie zasad przeprowadzania badań, niezbędnych elementów raportu z nich (opinia), kryteriów dla oceny kwalifikacji osób opiniujących.

The establishment of the General Writing Board was a response from the community of actual handwriting experts who professionally and scientifically deal exclusively, and not after hours, with handwriting examinations; who have specialist education; who understand the need for implementation in Poland of internationally recognised standards for the field; who are constantly improving their own qualifications; who are working towards systematising the criteria for handwriting examination and opinion standards in Poland and thus bringing clarity to what is now a “murky” field.

Within the framework of elaboration of standards for expert opinion, the General Writing Board conducts cyclic deliberations as aresult of which documents are elaborated that are aimed at determining the principles of conducting studies, necessary elements of their report (opinion), criteria for assessing the qualifications of opinion writers.

Under the tab Vademecum of Graphologist  you will find documents developed by the GWB which constitute the basis of handwriting expert’s work and expert opinion. As part of the development of the field and the unification of the substantive framework setting out the quality standards of handwriting research, the NCR has so far developed:

Code of Ethics for Handwriting Experts and the Rules of Professional Conduct
List of graphic features of handwriting
List of parish graphic features
List of linguistic characteristics
Protocol for the collection of specimen handwriting

These documents, in the form of a Resolution of the GWB Expert Members, were adopted as a resource setting out the factual basis, obligatory in any type of handwriting research. Analyses that are not prepared in accordance with them will be considered as incomplete work and not in line with the substantive guidelines developed by the expert body.  

The above is aimed at standardising the substantive framework, setting standards for the quality of work, establishing criteria for the correctness of research and opinions. This stage is crucial to ensure that only those pieces of evidence in the form of expert opinions that meet the criteria of expert work are used in proceedings, as well as the criteria developed for the verification assessment of the evidence collected.

Ensuring that this happens is in the broader public interest. It is necessary to watch over the fruits of work, so far free from regulation and substantive supervision, of the handwriting community. This will help to motivate them to continuously improve their qualifications in line with the development of science and technology, as well as to restore public confidence in proceedings and the expert quality of evidence submitted in the course of them.