The postponement puts off until 2014 the earliest date by which doctors can face the full force of revalidation.
Under plans for revalidation, licences to practise must be renewed every five years.
But the GMC is planning to introduce revalidation gradually and still has no firm start date.
The GMC originally planned to issue the first licences to practise by the end of this year.
But changes to the Medical Act which cannot be incorporated before 2009 have led to the postponement.
The White Paper Trust Assurance and Safety required the GMC to issue the new licences as soon as ‘practicable'.
Doctors holding a licence to practise will need to collect a folder of evidence to support their revalidation and to take part in annual appraisal as well as a 360° (multi-source) feedback.
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