In a letter to GMC chairman Professor Peter Rubin, the health secretary says revalidation pilots must continue for a further year.
Having reviewed the plans for revalidation, Mr Lansley writes that more time is needed to ‘develop a clearer understanding of the costs, benefits and practicalities of implementation'.
The extended pilot will ensure there is ‘full engagement with the profession and public before a decision to move to full implementation,' writes Mr Lansley.
Before the health secretary's announcement, revalidation was expected to begin in 2011 after pilots had been reviewed.
The health secretary aims to pace implementation in a way that is ‘affordable, supports high quality care, and makes effective use of doctors' time.
Professor Rubin said: 'The decision to extend piloting of revalidation in England will ensure that these systems are sufficiently robust without being burdensome or bureaucratic for doctors and employers.
'There is a major challenge here - making sure that hospitals, clinics and surgeries all have proper arrangements for monitoring and learning from the clinical care they provide. Nothing less should be expected from a modern healthcare system committed to safety and excellence.'
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