The need for harmonisation of the procedures for internal dose assessment has been recognised within an EU research project under the 5th Framework Programme. The aim of the IDEAS project was to develop general guidelines for standardising assessments of intakes and internal doses. It started in October 2001 and ended in June 2005. The project is closely related to some goals of the work of Committee 2 of the International Commission on Radiological Protection and since 2003 there has been close co-operation between the two groups. The general philosophy of the guidelines is focusing on the principles of harmonisation, accuracy and proportionality. The proposed system of ‘level of task’ to structure the approach of internal dose evaluation is also reported. Some details of the internal structure of the guidelines for the different pathways of intake are provided.