A multiphase assurance approach was developed for the accurate and precise determination of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in different microenvironments. This approach includes (i) development of a method including adsorption of VOCs onto a multisorbent media followed by short-path thermal desorption (SPTD) pre-concentration and gas chromatography (GC) coupled to a mass spectrometry (MS) quantification, (ii) validation of the sampling and analytical method and (iii) validation of the data using a multidimensional procedure. Tenax TA and Carbopack B sorbent combinations were used to collect 102 individual VOCs ranging from C5 to C12. Method parameters including thermal desorption temperature, desorption time and cryofocusing temperature were optimized. The average recoveries and method detection limits (MDC) for the target analytes were in the range 80-100% and 0.01-0.14 ppbv, respectively. The method also showed good linearity (R-2 > 0.99) and precision (<8%) values. Validation of the method was performed under real environmental conditions at a gas station, in an office and a residential household to examine the influence of variation in meteorological conditions such as temperature and relative humidity and a wide range of VOC concentrations. The sampling and analytical method resulted in successful determination of VOC in different microenvironments. Finally, validation of the data was performed by assessing fingerprint and time series plots and correlation matrices together with meteorological parameters such as mixing height. wind speed and temperature. The data validation procedure provided detection of both faulty data and air pollution episodes. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.