The review will aim to ensure Scotland provides consistently excellent support for people who use services, as well as their carers and families.
Chaired by Derek Feeley, former director general of Health and Social Care in the Scottish Government, the review is expected to report back by January next year.
Adult social care comprises a wide array of services and non-clinical support at home, in care homes, day services and community support for people with a range of needs.
Social care supports more than 200,000 people in Scotland, from the elderly to those with disabilities, mental health and drug and alcohol problems.
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The review will take into account the experiences of those supported by and who work in social care, as well as looking at funding, governance and delivery.
Derek said: “We have a broad remit that touches on every part of the social care landscape; from the experience of those using and working in the system to how it should be funded and regulated.
“We will look at every option and opportunity to bring about the improvements that I know everyone working in the system aspires to achieve.”
The structure of a potential national care service has not yet been set out. That will be for the independent review to consider and decide.
However, the review will consider the needs, rights and preferences of people who use services, their families and carers, as well as previous and ongoing work in the field.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “This independent review will examine how adult social care can be most effectively reformed to deliver a national approach to care and support services, including consideration of a national care service.
“It will also build on our existing commitments to improving provision.
“Long-standing issues in adult social care have been thrown into sharp relief during the pandemic and they demand our attention.
“We owe it to those who use and work in adult social care services to acknowledge these challenges, to learn from them and to consider carefully how we plan for the future.”