Revalidation was originally meant to go live in April 2011, but one of the first acts of the coalition government was to postpone its start for a year.
Now RCGP lead Professor Mike Pringle has said that the lack of readiness among NHS bodies, coupled with the White Paper reorganisation, could lead to further delay.
'It still looks like it will be going ahead but probably not until December 2012 or January 2013,' he said. 'People will start being revalidated then and for the five years from there.'
Professor Pringle said the college had welcomed the original postponement because the NHS 'was clearly not ready' for revalidation, but the White Paper had complicated the task 'immeasurably'.
'We had been assuming that the medical directors of primary care organisations would become the responsible officers. But the restructuring means that it's no longer absolutely clear how this part of the process is going to be implemented.'
The poor financial climate has also cast doubt on the funding of a nationwide remediation scheme for doctors who struggle with revalidation.
'Remediation services are very patchy but the prospect of obtaining funding for a national scheme is not great at the moment,' Professor Pringle said. 'It's a major worry for all of us.'
The proposed revalidation system for GPs differs from that in other medical specialties. GPs can double CPD credits by showing impact. The process also covers GPs in non-standard environments.
Professor Pringle said: 'These are two variations in the supporting information for GPs we want to retain. No other colleges have adopted the impact measurement but they are beginning to understand that we want to reward people who do education that leads to changes in clinical care.'
GP reported earlier this year that GPs now only have to do one patient survey and one colleague feedback exercise every five years, rather than two of each. Professor Pringle said: 'A good appraisal portfolio now includes virtually everything that revalidation will entail.'