GP leaders hope the delay will help them negotiate a less complex registration system and funding to cover the likely £1,000 fee practices will face.
A consultation document published last week set out plans to defer registration from April 2012 to April 2013.
The document proposes to keep registration in 2012 for out-of-hours providers or providers of NHS walk-in centres. GP practices that have not opted out of out-of-hours may also need to register in 2012.
Health minister Lord Howe said: 'We are launching a six-week public consultation on the proposal to delay the registration of GP practices from April 2012 until April 2013.'
CQC chief executive Cynthia Bower said: 'The aim of the delay is to try to improve the process for GPs, to give the Commission more opportunity to embed compliance monitoring in the sectors we already regulate, and to ensure registration is more closely aligned with accreditation schemes.'
Plans to defer GP registration come after the CQC revealed it was struggling with a lack of resources and heavy workload (GP, 27 May).
GPC negotiator Dr Richard Vautrey welcomed the delay. 'It will give practices breathing space,' he said.
The GPC has told the CQC that it not only needs to change the timescale of registration but also the scope of registration itself, Dr Vautrey said.
He said the GPC would now urge the CQC to 'radically revise' the process. The GPC has highlighted the 'burdensome' nature of the regulations and has said the cost of registration should not fall on GPs.
Dr John Canning, chairman of the GPC contracts and performance subcommittee, said that he believed the consultation could signal changes to the scope of registration. 'I think there will be some changes.'
However, the CQC has said there are no plans to alter the scope of regulation.